Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Let Joe Go
The town of Toodyay will step back in time yet again to celebrate for the thirtieth time the annual Moondyne Festival, bringing the infamous Avon Valley bushranger Moondyne Joe and his escapades to life.
Moondyne Joe and the boys (Photo courtesy of Moondyne Festival)
The Festival celebrates Toodyay's colonial past and the town is transformed into a lively festival of community fun and entertainment.
Locals and guests dress in 19th century costume for a colourful procession down the main street, headed by the musket-firing Rifle and Artillery Regiment 1860 with the boisterous entourage of colonial Floozies yelling "Let Joe Go!"
Past Festivals have drawn on local talent (Photographs courtesy of Moondyne Festival)
There will be the favourites from past years - street theatre of Joe and his gang wreaking havoc throughout the town. Joe may be found flaunting with the floozies, defying the tedious temperance ladies whilst trying to evade the local constabulary, intent on locking him up and throwing away the key.
As well as the street entertainment, there will be a variety of stalls, displays, performances and demonstrations. Arts Toodyay present their regular Art Exhibition in the CWA Hall, while the Irish and Highland Dancers and Toodyay Community Singers provide entertainment along the main street.
There will be vintage cars and bicycles on display and visitors can experience how to send and receive Morse Code Telegrams with the Morscecodians Society, investigate with the Sherlock Holmes Society of WA, admire the displays of the Hand Tool Preservation Society of WA and Trachmach (restored farm machinery as well as bygone household items).
Visiting the Antique and Collectors Fair is also a must. The Festival flows through the main town site to the beautiful Duidgee Park resting on the banks of the Avon River which will be filled with specialty craft and tantalizing food stalls.
The Town of Toodyay goes 'en fete' (Photograph courtesy of Moondyne Festival)
Events include the log chop, stilt walkers, Clydsedale cart rides, shearing, blacksmithing, cleavage and moustache competitions, woodturning, Kalamunda Pipe Band and the ever popular Swaggie Camp. Enjoy Bush poetry and Moondyne Joe laments in the courtyard of the Newcastle Gaol throughout the day.
Families will be delighted joining in the circus school children's games in the park and perhaps having a ride on the Toodyay Miniature Railway, Lil Louie and the Toodyay Lions "Wiggly Worm". Face painting, balloon twisting and the delightful baby animal petting zoo will also delight visitors. Checking out the BMX bike demonstrations and workshops is also a must.