The 28th annual High Country Festival and Spring Arts event kicks off in Mansfield on Friday, 21st October 2011. The festival goes through until Tuesday, 1st November and offers an enormous range of activities and events during its twelve days of festivities.
This year's theme is 'Wild at Heart' and has provided the inspiration for all of the events. The festival opens with the Spring Arts Walk on the Friday evening which sees cafes, and many other venues along Mansfield's main street, transformed into gallery spaces exhibiting the works of participating artists. Theatrical guides lead guests from venue to venue on this twilight 'art romp', and samples of local wines and delicious food are available along the way.
The festival continues with its jam packed schedule of events which includes markets, open gardens, art workshops, food and wine events, performing arts, music events, a Melbourne Cup Picnic Race meeting, fireworks, cocktail parties and so much more.
A highlight of the event is the CFA/Emergency Services 'Torchlight Parade' held at dusk on Friday, 28 October. CFA brigades from the region conduct a procession that winds its way along the main street of Mansfield. The carnival atmosphere continues with the Rotary Grand Parade, held at 11:00am on Saturday, 29 October. This popular event draws a huge crowd of spectators as bagpipe bands, clowns, decorated floats, bushrangers and horses make their way down Mansfield's High Street. This is a good, old-fashioned, country style celebration that never fails to entertain.
One of the final events of the festival is the Mansfield Picnic Cup held on Melbourne Cup day. This race meeting is a great family-fun day and features gourmet food and wine offerings, Fashions on the Field, activities for the kids, marquees and of course, racing. A TAB will be in operation and the fun all starts at 11:00am on Tuesday, 1 November.
There are so many events being held during the High Country Festival that there really is something for everyone. This is a great reason to escape the city and experience some High Country fun and hospitality.