Sydney came to life Friday with a dazzling display of colors and light as the harbor city kicked off its annual Vivid Sydney festival of light, art and culture, the largest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Just after sunset, the sails of the Sydney Opera House lit up with the vibrant and colorful works of the late Australian artist John Olsen, renowned for his abstract depictions of Australian landscapes.

Photo shows artwork by Australian artist John Olsen projected onto the sails of the Sydney Opera House as part of the Vivid Sydney festival on May 26, 2023. (Kyodo)

During the 23-day event, the city is transformed with over 50 light installations and 3D projections along an 8.5-kilometer illuminated walk. There are also live music performances, public talks, and dining experiences.

This year, the addition of "Vivid Food" to the festival's existing program of "Light, Music and Ideas" promises to deliver a feast for all the senses. The food program will span everything from street food to high-end dining experiences, including pop-ups along the Vivid Sydney Light Walk.

Vivid Sydney will also see the skies above Sydney Harbor illuminated with a display of more than 1,000 drones, the largest drone show in the Southern Hemisphere.

Fireworks light up the sky over the Sydney Opera House on May 26, 2023, during the Vivid Sydney festival of light, art and culture. (Kyodo)

Among the various local and international artists featured in the 2023 lineup is Japanese musician Keigo Oyamada. Performing under the stage name Cornelius, he will close out the festival's free music program with a live performance alongside the Australian band Nice Biscuit on June 17.

Last year, the festival attracted 2.58 million visitors and injected AU$119 million ($77 million) into the New South Wales state economy, according to organizers, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.