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A Three-Month Hello Kitty Street Festival Has Popped Up In Darling Square

By Cordelia Williamson

Anyone who’s a fan of Hello Kitty and other super-cute Japanese characters like Gudetama, Badtz-Maru, and Keroppi will be pleased to know that the cult-favourite characters have descended on Sydney for an epic street festival. Dubbed Hello Kitty Town, the pop-up landed at Darling Square on 1 February—just in time to kick off Lunar New Year—and is running for three months. 

Hello Kitty has had a worldwide following since the 70s and is now considered an icon. Yes, Hello Kitty is iconic. And now you can immerse yourself in kawaii culture right here in Sydney. 

First up, you can check out the larger-than-life Hello Kitty inflatable. Soaring at 5m, the installation also lights up at night if you’re planning on checking it out after dark—just be sure to get a cute snap. Then, meander through the impressive outdoor exhibition to see illustrations by world-class graphic designers, illustrators, and street artists, including a large-scale mural by Melbourne-based Justine McAllister. Oh, and did we mention the exhibition is completely free?

Hello Kitty Town is also hosting a heap of live performances and activations over the three months. For instance, to celebrate Lunar New Year, there’ll be traditional lion dancers weaving their way through the pop-up on both Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 February, at 1pm and 7pm. More activations will be announced later via the website

Popular Sydney food retailers have joined the fun, too, offering special food and drink specials over the festival’s duration. Ume Burger is serving up a Badtz-Maru-inspired cheeseburger, while OTT sambo slinger Toastiesmith has created five limited-edition sangas all topped with Hello Kitty ham bows. You can also tuck into a ‘Lazy Egg’ burger inspired by the extremely relatable egg cartoon Gudetama. 

Drinks-wise, there are white peach sodas, Hello Kitty strawberry yoghurt crush, and a Keroppi-inspired matcha bubble tea on offer. Plus, more food and drink specials will be dropped weekly, so be sure to check over here

And, of course, you’ll be able to pick up a swag of Hello Kitty merchandise from various retailers around the precinct, including limited-edition toys, wallets, and makeup. There’s also a weekly competition, where you could score $50 to spend at Hello Kitty Town. You can enter here.

It’s said Hello Kitty represents harmony and friendship, and after two years of lockdowns, border closures, and all-round average times, the much-loved character is set to bring a bucketload of joy to Sydney’s struggling Haymarket—a suburb hit hard by the pandemic.

So, check out the super-cute feline-themed festival, check out some impressive art, then pop into one of the many amazing restaurants, bars, and cafes in the area and show some support.

Hello Kitty Town is located at Darling Square precinct in Haymarket and is running from 1 February till 29 April. 

Now, check out more of the best Lunar New Year menus and events happening around Sydney. 

Image credit: Darling Square

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