an eye-catching St Kilda Festival turns 40 with Latin dancers and Elwood anglers

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About 100 metres away, crowds could move to the samba and salsa with another of the festival’s veteran participants — of 11 years — Latin dancers from DanceCity Productions.

Hundreds of thousands of festival-goers flocked to St Kilda foreshore to enjoy the music, dancing, carnival rides, food and drink.

Iva Davies performed with Icehouse at the St Kilda Festival. 

Iva Davies performed with Icehouse at the St Kilda Festival. 

The headline act was rock legends Icehouse, who performed at the first festival in 1980 under their original name, Flowers.

Also among the 50 music acts were festival favourites The Black Sorrows as well as Hot Dub Time Machine, Cash Savage, Stonefield and Kylie Auldist.

DanceCity Productions artistic director Victoria Petrolo said the St Kilda Festival was a highlight of the year for her group, who loved “showcasing what we do best” on the specialist Latin Quarter stage.

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“It’s a great day. We’re all energised, and everyone looks forward to perform,’’ Petrolo said.

Ted Wilkinson, 77, who has volunteered for the Elwood Angling Club at most St Kilda festivals,  said members taught kids life-long skills, like how to tie hooks and cast a rod.

The children, aged up to 16, mostly caught and released toad fish or small snapper, but still got a thrill out of it.

“The smile on their faces is reward enough for the day’s effort,’’ Mr Wilkinson said.

Several current club members joined after seeing them at the festival, including one man who was 10 years old when he took part in a children’s fishing competition.

The boy won, catching the biggest number of fish, and 20 years on, has won many trophies with the club.

Mr Wilkinson learned to fish from his dad, Kitch, aged five off Point Ormond Pier in Elwood, and later would wag school to go fishing.

The St Kilda Festival in 1982. It has celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.

The St Kilda Festival in 1982. It has celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.

In 1978, when working as a carpet layer, he joined the Elwood Angling Club as a social outlet.

Now retired, he loves leaving at 5am for club day trips around the bay, or going further afield to Lake Eildon or Port Albert, near Wilsons Promontory.

Just before Christmas, the club named its boat, affectionately, after his nickname – Teddles.

Club president Stephen Barton said the members felt part of the community being at the festival, sharing their love of fishing.

“It’s a great sport for the kids,” he said. “It gives them a rest from their phone or computer, it gets them out in the fresh air.’’

Elwood Angling Club named its boat Teddles after veteran member Ted Wilkinson (right) who posed with Latin dancers from DanceCity Productions at the St Kilda Festival.

Elwood Angling Club named its boat Teddles after veteran member Ted Wilkinson (right) who posed with Latin dancers from DanceCity Productions at the St Kilda Festival.Credit:Scott McNaughton

Local resident Melissa, 50, said the dancers and the fishers in our photo shoot were “St Kilda encapsulated”.

“It’s just a cosmic mix and melange of so many different cultures and people,’’ she said.

“It would be incongruent in any other suburb but here.’’

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