The lights are on in Alice Springs for one of the most spectacular festivals of the year.

The third annual Parrtjima – A Festival in Light runs until Sunday, celebrating Indigenous arts, culture, storytelling and this year’s theme of Cultural Freedom.

For the first time the free festival, now in its third year, is showing across two precincts, at Alice Springs Desert Park and Todd Mall in the CBD.

It features seven stunning light installations, art and performance.

Parrtjima curator Rhoda Roberts says the festival puts the art and culture of Central Australia — home of the Arrernte of Mparntwe — centre stage.

“The groundswell of work tells of the pride and the celebration of country and our First Nations’ identity, as well as exploring the next generation,” she says.

Between 6.30pm and 10.30pm, the festival lights can be seen at the Desert Park, where the MacDonnell Ranges will be illuminated.

There is also a Spaces on Country light installation and a festival hub.

A free shuttle bus is available to the park from various locations around the town.

The Todd Mall in the Alice Springs CBD features a new installation representing caterpillars and there are also nightly talks, films and performances on the church lawn.

On Wednesday 3rd October, watch out for Rhoda Roberts’ Recycled Weaving Workshop at 6.30pm, the Arrernte Women’s Dance Group at 7.30pm and films from 8.30pm.

For more information visit

By Wendy Caccetta