Macclesfield SA is a quiet small village located in the heart of South Australia's Battunga Country. It has an attractive built heritage with many pink stone buildings, quaint pubs and shops, and a weekly market. It's normally a fairly sedate sort of place, but during the Gravity Festival Macclesfield comes alive as billy cart racing takes over the town in an attempt to disprove the laws of gravity.
For the uninitiated, local legend has it that Doctor Maccles discovered in 1840 that the local area has more gravity than anywhere else in the world. It's apparently due to the deep vein of daftness that flows under the area and pops up in the silly spring on Davenport Square, causing an effect now known as the Maccles Field.
In 2013 local man Fred Keal decided that the legend needed to be put to the test, and organised a series of high speed downhill races for billy carts to see whether the effects of the increased gravity could be determined. The event was so popular that the free Macclesfield Gravity Festival is back again in 2014, this time running over both days of the weekend.
While local billy cart riders have been practising for months, several teams of riders from outside Battunga Country will be riding the gravity wave over the 600 metre course and attempting to wrestle trophies from the locals. The billy cart racing will include the following events and more:
a CFS Cup with six local brigades competing
the Wooden Cup for younger drivers (8-14) in classic wooden billy carts
the major event - the Billy Cart Open on Sunday
South Australian Police Join in the Billy Cart Racing
Of course during the Gravity Festival Macclesfield will be offering other things to do and activities for kids including a water rocket launching competition. Two litre soft drink bottles will be fired from a water rocket launcher, and there will be prizes for the best looking rocket and the best flight.
Sciworld will be setting up in the Institute for the weekend with Dr Rob Morrison from the Curiosity Show demonstrating entertaining science and getting kids to make goo and electrical circuits.
After your energy has been sapped by Maccles' Field of gravity, you will need some strong sustenance! You'll be able to choose from country made burgers, pies and cakes, doughnuts, pancakes, ice cream and just about everything you would like to eat or drink, and a food hall will be set up for you to eat in comfort.
To quench your thirst Longview and Bendbrook Vineyards from Macclesfield will be offering free samples, along with the Prancing Pony Brewery from Mount Barker. Of course soft drinks will be available, and the Macclesfield Hotel will be valiantly trying to quench your thirst too..
More than 50 market stalls will be selling good wholesome country produce, toys, tools, clothes and handcrafts - basically a giant version of the weekly Macclesfield Market.