It's term 2 school holidays and you're out of ideas.
You want an exciting weekend with lots of festivities. You're on holidays in the first week of July, but you don't know where to go.
Why not travel to warm, tropical Cairns during the first week of July and be part of the annual Cairns Ukulele Festival? Running for over a week, there will be stacks of events for everyone no matter your musical taste, age or background. From exhibitions to concerts to workshops, there is certainly something here for everyone.
Celebrate the beginning of Cairns Ukulele Festival at their Opening Night at the Hilton 6 Degrees Bar on Tuesday 4 July. The night starts off with an introductory Uke 'n' Play lesson. So come along and learn to play the ukulele, play simple tunes, and learn to play the world record song, Waltzing Matilda. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to meet and greet the artists, socialise, and experience remarkable live entertainment. Entry is free and all ages welcome.
One of the best parts of the Cairns Ukulele Festival is the Uke Art Exhibition featuring over forty emerging and established artists. Each artist will be exhibiting their creativity and imagination by turning a ukulele into their personal work of art. Get ready to be amazed by this year's exhibition and bid on your favourite uke. All profits go to the local Salvation Army. So it doesn't matter if you're one of the first to bid at their opening on Friday 28 June, or one of the last at their closing event on 12 July, just as long as you check out this exhibition because it is sure to fascinate the young and old.
Don't forget to sign up for various workshops during the festival. Be creative, innovative, and artistic at the Paint 'n' Play Workshops where you get to paint your own ukulele on 2 and 3 July. In just three hours, you'll learn how to paint and play your ukulele. So it doesn't matter whether you're 7 or 57, just come and have some fun.
If you're into something more physical, consider attending the KoAloha 2-day Ukulele Building Workshop held on 3 and 4 July where you'll be making your very own KoAloha ukulele. At the end of the workshop, you will not only become a new KoAloha owner, but also learned about the ukulele building process and ukulele set-up. All beginners welcome as long as you're over the age of 10. So sign up, come to class, make new friends, and learn awesome skills.
We've all been to places where you can smell the salty air, swim in turquoise water, eat grilled fish and hear steel drums. Sometimes we want something to remind us of Oceania and the island lifestyle. Well, owning a tiki carving does exactly that and this is your chance. Come along to the Tiki Carving Workshop on 5 and 6 July. All you need is originality, inspiration and a sense of fun. Create your own tiki carving under the guidance of the world famous Marcus Thorn who's been carving tikis for over 15 years. Don't miss out on this rare occasion.
Have you now got your own ukulele, but not sure what to do with it? Not to worry, as ukulele workshops are plentiful on 6 and 7 July so it won't be hard to find one that suits you. Workshops from beginner to advanced are available in jazz blues and easy embellishments with Sarah Maisel; techniques and concepts using Hawaiian Song with instructor Bryan Tolentino; and rhythm and strumming patterns as well as strength and technique building with Craig Chee. You can also fill up on helpful tips and tricks in Thom Jackson's (aka prince of uke) Q & A style workshop. For more information on these works, see their website.
Of course, workshops are just a small part of Cairns Ukulele Festival. There are heaps of other events during this first week of July. Book your Eddy Fin Ukulele Mystery Tour if this is your first time in Cairns. Dress up mystery style and party with the international Cairns Ukulele Festival artists on the bus while visiting beautiful beaches, wonderful rainforests, and a cool local pub. With party animal Craig Chee as your host, you're bound to have a splendid time.
In addition, there are plenty of concerts and showcases including the Australian Ukulele Showcase which guarantees to be a fantastic show. You'll witness ukulele talent from around Australia together with established Australian talent. Held in the impressive Hilton Tiki Ukulele Club on Friday 5 July, this showcase is definitely going to be brilliant. There are limited spaces and it's blackboard registration only so keep an eye out.
For a great family day out, come to Fogarty Park for the Community Concert Day on Saturday 6 July. Brace yourself for a day full of free ukulele excitement with performances by ukulele clubs, schools, Lanikai and various other artists, market stalls, free kids and adults ukulele workshops and kids activities. What's more, join in the famous world record attempt to be the 'largest ukulele ensemble' around 5pm. So take your family along and don't forget your picnic blanket.
To carry on with the festivities on 6 July, take a short walk to Union Jack for a big night of entertainment. Enjoy a one-off performance by Craig Chee backed by local musicians Ryo Montgomery and Jonathon Barbagallo. Following Craig Chee, Flap! will take over the stage with old and new original music inspired from 1920's jazz, Gypsy brass, English Folk to Trinidadian Calypso and ska. Put your dancing shoes and dance away your blues!
Then last but not least, the Finale Concert on Sunday 7 July at the Hilton Tiki Ukulele Lounge from 4pm. Here, you'll see cream of the crop performances in one incredible afternoon. Pre-sale tickets are $38 each so get in quick to avoid missing out.
Well this certainly does give you more than enough ideas for your holidays, evenings and weekends. All you have to do is go on their website and start planning! Workshops are filling up fast so make those decisions quickly to avoid disappointment completely!