It can be difficult to maintain a sense of connection when we’re all practising social distancing. But a group of creative people in Mooroolbark have celebrated our community, in a time when empathy and arts appreciation are more important than ever.

The Celebrate Mooroolbark Festival was due to take place on the 21st and 22nd of March, attracting crowds with showground rides, performances and food stalls. In response to the threat of spreading COVID-19, the event was cancelled. The Celebrate Mooroolbark crew adapted to this by finding ways to still be creative, yet socially responsible as well!

Organisers of Celebrate Mooroolbark brought uplifting activities to the streets – patrons were able to watch from a safe distance of 1.5 metres or from the comfort of their own homes via live stream. Collin Bogaars and Copper Taylor-Bogaars performed as the Batacuda Boys to bring some fun to the streets of Mooroolbark. The Boys made passers-by laugh, delighted kids and entertained local shoppers with their comedy, music and vibrant costumes. Vintage car owner Eric honked his claxon in time to the beat.

At Terry’s Meats there was an engaging history display teaching kids something new about this wonderful town. And for those walkers in Hookey Park, Joanne Pearcy painted a community artwork depicting Australia’s wildlife and environment. This beautiful painting is the start of Joanne’s work for the Mooroolbark Art Trail, which is a series of artworks by local artists, portraying the flora, fauna, and ecosystems of the area.

It is important to stay connected during these uncertain times, and the Celebrate Mooroolbark organisers did their best to celebrate the creative arts in a socially responsible way. Head over to Yarra Life TV to watch the recorded live stream and share in the joy and laughter.

There are so many ways to participate in the creative arts while practising social distancing – go online to engage your imagination in new ways.

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