Clear skies, good music, tasty food… Randwick's Earth Hour Picnic and Food Market 2016 was a tasty and musical success

AS THE SUN SET over the long low horizon beyond Randwick the lights came on, the crowd gathered, the food stalls started frying and brewing and the wind turbine and solar panels at the community centre whirled and spun up their electrons to signify that another Earth Hour was here.

Earth Hour — an international event when the participating world turns off its electricity (unless powered by renewables) for an hour to highlight that action on climate change is needed now, needed urgently and needed globally. It's a message to lackadaisical politicians and dinosaur fossil fuel industries the world over to lift their game.

I don't know how many people came to Randwick's Earth Hour Twilight Picnic and Food Market, but they came and went through the evening. It must have been a couple thousand at least. I don't think anyone counted.

As children ran wild or participated in the kid's activities and as families spread their blankets on the lawn and settled in to talk with friends, I made sure I bought food from one of the stalls and a coffee from another early in the evening because I knew there would soon be long lines of hungry people eager to be fed. And there were, sooner rather than later. Eating early also meant that I would be free to go about my photography unencumbered by a rumbling, empty stomach and an urge to be fed.

The event demonstrated that the construction of the classroom on the green and the associated landscaping was a worthwhile investment for Randwick Council. People sat and children played on the big blocks of Sydney sandstone that partially enclose the green while others sheltered below the eucalypts.

A clear sky was good news to the UNSW Physics Outreach team, a couple astrophysics students who set up telescopes on the green well before the descent of night. No night just yet was also good news for them as they had filters for their telescopes, and peering through them people could see sunspots on the big orange thermonuclear ball in the sky. Come the darkness, those filters were removed, the 'scopes turned around and the by-now-long line of people could spend a couple minutes peering at the cratered, mountainous silvery disk of lunar, our close companion in the heavens.

Local blues jazz ragtime band, Sugar Bowl Hokum, set up on the new landscaping and blasted out their eclectic music into the soft darkness of early evening as it gently pushed away the fading light of day this fine and mild early Autumn evening.

Darkness descended. Music played. People socialised. Others ate. Children rampaged. All were happy. It was time to go to work. I switched on my camera.

So… sit back and enjoy this photo essay of Randwick's Earth Hour Twilight Picnic and Food Market 2016…

The crowd gathers, the turbine spins, the sun sinks towards the horizon… time for Earth Hour Randwick 2016
The Randwick Farmers' Market crew were busy with a couple food stalls to keep the hungry fed and the thirsty caffienated.
The classroom-on-the-green is a recent addition at Randwick Community Centre. Built largely of recycled building materials it serves as base for the community resiliency courses and workshops offered by the local council.
When does a wheelie bin become a music system? When you add a battery, an iPod and a hinged photovoltaic (solar) panel to power the thing. Scattered across the green and connected by wi-fi, the wheelie sound bins served as a distributed PA system.
The UNSW Physics Outreach astrophysics crew brought their telescopes so people could view the sun and its sunspots and, when night came, the big silvery face of the moon.
The telescopes were a great way to introduce children — and adults too — to science.
Using special glasses provided by the UNSW Science Outreach crew, local government sustainability educator, Fiona Campbell, checks out the sun. Fiona offers a range of free community resiliency and food production courses at the community centre.
With the community centre's wind turbine thrown into silhouette by day's fading light, the astrophysics crew turned their telescopes to the rising moon.
Day's light fades to the reds, oranges and purples of sunset. Lights come on and local blues jazz ragtime band, Sugar Bowl Hokum, starts up.
No base guitar here… just a standup base to set the rhythm.
Randwick Council's Helen Morrison (second from left) with some of the council crew.
Earth Hour 2016… picnicking below the eucalypts.

Randwick Community Centre, 27 Munda Street,Randwick, NSW, Australia

Photos and story: Russ Grayson

Created By
Russ Grayson
Photos and story by Russ Grayson -

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.