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The artist Mark Ogge stands on a ladder outside Luna Park and uses a long paint roller to paint the nose of Mr Moon white
Photograph: Supplied/Luna Park

This 110-year-old Melbourne icon is getting a facelift

Be part of Luna Park's new chapter and go and check out the latest restoration this summer

Written by
Jade Solomon

As far as Melbourne landmarks go, they don't get much more iconic than Luna Park and its unmissable open-mouth face at the entrance – which, in news to us, even has a name: Mr Moon. In a true feat of endurance, Luna Park turns 110 this year, and to celebrate the huge milestone, Mr Moon is undergoing a restoration for the first time since 1999. 

Mark Ogge, a local Melbourne artist, is responsible for Mr Moon's facelift, but he will be closely supervised by Bob Clutterbuck, who undertook the last painting of Mr Moon. When Mr Moon last went under the knife in 1999, he was upgraded to a fibreglass structure after originally being built out of chicken wire, hessian and cement.

Since 1912, millions of locals and tourists have made their way through Mr Moon's large gaping mouth for a day of sugar-rush-induced fun and adrenaline-pumping rides. Luna Park is a functioning piece of history: its carousel (allegedly the largest and most elaborate in the Southern Hemisphere), is one of only 80 carousels made by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company between 1903 and 1931, and one of only 25 still in operation today. And did you know that the Great Scenic Railway is the oldest continuously operating wooden rollercoaster in the world? The ride somehow persisted through reduced operations during WW1 and operated under blackout conditions during WW11.

This historic landmark has been through ups and downs (and not just on the rollercoaster) over the years, but has continued to hold a special, nostalgic place in the hearts of Melburnians. 

“It’s lovely to see a new generation of children and adults making memories at Luna Park," says CEO Mary Stuart. "It’s a part of Melbourne’s history, but it doesn’t belong behind glass. It’s a living museum in many ways, where you can enjoy attractions virtually unchanged from 110 years ago, while also experiencing modern thrills."

Be part of this new chapter in Mr Moon's life and go and check out his latest restoration at Luna Park this summer. 

Summer's just around the corner! Here your guide to all the best summer festivals.

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