LEGO fans will swarm to Wollongong this weekend for the first ever Illawarra LEGO Brick Spectacular.
The event was organised by Illawarra members of the 56 strong Sydney LEGO users group SYDLUG which stages a similar event at Sydney Town Hall.
LEGO enthusiasts such as Graham Draper, of Dapto, predict 6000 people will visit the Bert Lillye Lounge at the racecourse this Saturday and Sunday from 10am.
In the process they will support Illawarra children’s charity KidzWish Foundation.
“This will be the first and most exciting LEGO fan event in the Illawarra. The two day show will feature a wide range of world class displays. There will be something for LEGO fans of all ages”.
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Mr Draper is the main organiser and said it came about when the eight Illawarra members of SYDLUG got together and decided they did not want locals to miss out on what they saw in Sydney.
“For a couple of years now we have done a lot of Spring fairs to raise a bit of money for local schools. We have done one at Shellharbour for about four years, Balarang Public School and Farmborough Rd along with a lot of big shows around Sydney. Last June I got together with six other members of the club who live in the Illawarra about doing a big show down here and raise funds for KidzWish.”
As a result 31 members of SYDLUG will be at Kembla Grange displaying their custom builds. Many were displayed during the biggest LEGO exhibition in Australia in Melbourne in January.
Mr Draper was one of two members who won national trophies and is displaying that build this weekend.
“It is a model of the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest. It is a cut-out model with about 40,000 LEGO pieces,” he said.
“It’s not the biggest build but is very detailed. I am 42 now and LEGO has always been in my life. About five years ago it really came to the forefront again and I started doing large custom builds and entering shows. I love architecture. That is my speciality.”
In 2017 Mr Draper attended large international show in Denmark which is regarded the home of LEGO.
“I am going back this year. A group of 16 of us from SYDLUG are travelling over to Germany and Denmark. We do a lot of awesome stuff here in Australia but when you travel and see what they are doing in Germany and Denmark it is just mindblowing the calibre of builds they do there”.
“We have some very talented builders in our club as well.”
Mr Draper gets a notification every time someone buys a ticket on the KidzWish website and has been inundated this week.
He said that was so reassuring.
“People have just gone crazy about it. I was hoping to get 4000 people over the two days. At the Sydney shows we get 11,000 or 12,000. Recently I came back from a LEGO show we had in Merimbula and we had 2600 people.”
People can also walk into the Illawarra show at Kembla Grange this weekend and pay their $5 entry which will also go to KidzWish.
The exhibition runs from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday.