Published: 3 October 2023
Melbourne was buzzing with footy frenzy energy last week. As part of the Grand Final festivities, the Footy Festival and the iconic AFL Grand Final parade hit the streets.
Thousands of people flocked to Yarra Park for the Footy Festival from Wednesday to Saturday to enjoy the family-friendly activities, and food trucks galore.
Kids had their chance to hone their footy skills and meet their football heroes. Visitors were greeted with plenty of entertainment, activities, giveaways, and prizes for all ages.
A huge line-up of entertainment and music acts at the festival included Hot Dub Time Machine on Thursday night and a Grand Final eve roast on Friday night. On Saturday, the park was filled with the roar of the crowd from the MCG and spectators enjoying the live broadcast of the mach.
Celebrations also included the annual Grand Final Parade on Friday.
This year, the parade kicked off from a new destination at Melbourne Park’s Grand Slam Oval. The players and coaches travelled up Batman Avenue by motorcade and onto Birrarung Marr, across William Barak Bridge to Yarra Park and finishing at the Footy Festival.
A 360-degree stage was the centrepiece of the live site at Melbourne Park. The cube stage included screens on each side, giving all fans who made the trip into Melbourne’s sporting precinct the chance to enjoy the celebrations and see their favourite players.
The Grand Final marked 20-years since Collingwood and Brisbane last met on football’s biggest stage. The ‘G was filled with 100,024 fans, who saw Collingwood take home the AFL Premiership Cup in a thrilling match.
Friday also included an exciting schedule of AFLW matches for Grand Final Eve, featuring a double-header at IKON Park, before the night match at Whitten Oval. AFLW fans also had a chance to get an early start on Grand Final day with a match between Collingwood and Essendon at Punt Road Oval. The match rounded out 2 exciting days of AFLW action.
The AFL finals are a pillar of Victoria’s major event calendar. Victoria has the AFL Grand Final locked in at the MCG, the home of football, until 2059.