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Granny Smith Festival 2014

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by Irenke Forsyth (subscribe)
A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at
A community carnival centred on a sweet pioneer
This colourful community festival started back in 1985 and is back again celebrating the legacy of the famous green apple and the lady behind it - Maria Ann Smith, fondly known as Granny Smith.

Granny Smith Festival
Colourful characters at the Granny Smith Festival

Granny Smith lived in the Eastwood area and propagated this now world known apple all from a chance seedling she found near a creek on her property back in 1868. She found them crisp and sweet and great for cooking and they first took off on sale at a market stall in Sydney's George Street. Still popular today and grown in many countries overseas, this festival is a fitting tribute.

There is a grand parade that kicks off at 9.30am and winds through the streets of Eastwood with many local businesses, schools, sporting and service organisations partaking and supporting this event. Expect to see marching bands, including the young musicians of Marching Koalas, as well as bright floats, dancers, vintage cars, and yellow stars that are part of Starz TV.

Marching Koalas
Marching Koalas

Parage entrants
Parade entrants

I had the pleasure of being involved with Starz TV a few years back when I answered a volunteer call. Andrew Hill, the man behind the yellow stars, is a great community supporter and all about helping children to get fit and keep active in a range of activities from sports to singing and dancing. Keep an eye out for the friendly yellow stars at this festival and various other events. They're happy to pose for a picture with you.

Starz TV
Get your photo taken with a star

There's lots of other entertainment with 4 stages showcasing various bands and musicians, dancers and local performers. In Glen Reserve, you'll find The Core that will have free activities and attractions for 11-25 year olds. There's free food (yes free food), a giant twister, live interactive street art, bands and DJ's, a climbing wall and an adult jumping castle. There will be a chalk path that you can follow to this reserve which is off Hillview Lane. Not enough fun, then add carnival rides, an animal farm and a karaoke competition. Lots of prizes and giveaways.

If you want to shop, not a problem. Over 280 food and market stalls will be present selling everything from jewellery to plants, books, paintings and even furniture. Delicious food will include apple pie (of course) as well as toffee apples, fruit frappes (yum), sizzling sausages, satay sticks, noodles, stir-fries, gozleme, and more. You can also find a festival information stall with friendly volunteers that will show you where to go, provide program information and complimentary sunscreen. A free festival sun visor is also available (whilst stocks last). Make sure you say hello to the festival mascot of Granny Smith and Sweety Pie who will get you involved in some fun and games.

A family concert at the Macquarie Centre Oval Stage will see the Bon Jovi Show perform a tribute band that will play homage to the hits and rock anthems that made the real band famous. Following the concert will be fireworks from 8pm that will close the festival.

Getting there - A lot of the action above takes place in the main street of Rowe St as well as Trelawney St and Hillview Lane. Road closures will be in place here as well as a few other streets during the parade. Whilst there is some parking around, this festival attracts around 80,000 people and it's best to get public transport. The train station at Eastwood is a great option as it is just across the road to the festivities. Buses are another good option with several routes from Parramatta, Auburn, Dundas, Ryde and Epping all stopping at Eastwood.

For more info, check out the festival website here.
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Why? For family fun and community spirit
When: Sat 18th October from 9am to 8pm
Where: Eastwood Town Centre and surrounding streets
Cost: Free (bar personal expenses)
Your Comment
Granny Smiths are my favourite apple. I knew nothing about their history though, so it was really interesting to read.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12479) 1871 days ago
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