Winter in Adelaide is synonymous with three things: stuffing your face with the country’s best food at Tasting Australia; curling up at home, heater blaring and sipping a big red; and, of course, Illuminate.

Over three weekends the city will light up with flaming sculptures, projections and installations. The festival is now in its fourth year and organisers hope to top last year’s 1.3 million attendees.

The team – headed by co-founders and creative directors Rachael Azzopardi and Lee Cumberlidge – is programming 150 artists, of which 62 are from overseas and 54 are local to South Australia.

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Among the installations is Fire Gardens, a blazing spectacular from French fire alchemists (how’s that for a job title?) Compagnie Carabosse, who will bring more than 7000 fire pots and candlelit archways to the Botanic Gardens.

The free public program, City Lights, runs for the entirety of the festival and will transform buildings and streets around the city with projections and installations. The Art Gallery of South Australia will come alive with projections of Renaissance artworks set to a soundtrack of contemporary pop anthems. There will also be a six-metre-tall pear-shaped sculpture featuring images from Nasa in a piece called The World Has Gone Pear Shaped from UK-based artist Tine Bech Studio, which prompts viewers to reflect on the impact of climate change. A rainbow swing with LED tubes for guests to play is sure to have a hold on Instagram stories throughout the month.

Families and former dinosaur kids will love the Prehistoric Nights event in the Adelaide Zoo. From the entrance, through a glowing dinosaur skeleton to a floating eight-metre-long animated plesiosaur and impressive puppetry, this is the pick of the festival’s family-friendly events.

Illuminate Adelaide runs from Wednesday July 4 until Sunday July 21. Head here for more information and the full program.