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Movies, craft, stories, footy and dance – with a touch of magic – are cast at the annual Greater Dandenong Children’s Festival.

In the upcoming school holidays, more than 20,000 are explected to flock to the city’s parks, community centres, arts venues and libraries.

The headline event Little Day Out at Ross Reserve on Sunday 30 September will be akin to a magical wonderland, including camel rides, a 9D cinema and magicians.

It will also feature The Animals of Magical Mountains Show, a dragon jumping castle and a gator rollercoaster.

The Shorter Cuts Film Festival will screen films by local school students at Harmony Square on Tuesday 25 September.

Deckchair movies with a magic or fantasy theme will be screened each weekday through the festival.

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Greater Dandenong Mayor Cr Youhorn Chea said the festival appealed to people of all ages and encouraged children to explore their creative side.

“This festival is held during the school holidays and it is the perfect way to keep the children entertained in a fun and imaginative way.”

The festival’s regular characters Mona Beeza, Birdtoven, Bob the Reader and Healthy Shelby also return.

The festival runs from September 22 to 7 October. Details: www.greaterdandenong.com/childrensfestival

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