I love a stroll through historic country towns in Australia, don't you? I love seeing the old buildings, learning about their history and imagining what life would have been like way back then.
The historic town of Picton in the southern highlands is one such place rich in colonial history, with European settlement dating from the early 19th century. There are many historic buildings still standing such as the Old Court House, Old Post Office and George IV Inn, one of the oldest colonial inns still operating as a hotel.
A trip to Picton makes for a great escape from the city and there is no better time to visit than on Saturday 7th May 2016. While Picton is usually a quiet town, on this date the town will come alive as it lights up in the illuminARTe Wollondilly Festival 2016.
In Wollondilly's premier arts and culture event, local artworks will be projected on to some of the towns landmark buildings to create a VIVID-style festival of illuminated art and light displays.
Old Post Office Picton (Image Credit: Wollondilly Shire Council)
The buildings that are set to light up with themed projections include the Old Picton Post Office, the Old NAB Building, John Digger Furniture Store, Wollondilly Shire Council, St Anthony's Church and the Picton Town Square Building. To add further colour to the festivities other buildings including the Picton Cenotaph will be bathed in coloured lights.
Picton comes alive at IlluminARTe (Image Credit: Wollondilly Shire Council)
The Festival will commence at midday and will include:
outdoor dining at local food retailers, restaurants & cafes
local businesses trading until 9pm
market stalls along Menangle Street
take-away food vendors
a Family Fun Day in Picton RSL Park
music and entertainment
The fun will continue in to the night with:
illuminated art on the buildings
a Lantern Parade
Family Fireworks Show
History buffs, like me, are catered for with Guided Historical Walks throughout town. Bookings for the guided walks are essential and can be arranged by contacting the Wollondilly Visitor Information Centre. Please call 46 77 83 13 to register.
Other areas of interest include the Chill Out Zone at St Marks Church, the Art Exhibition at Picton Shire Hall, the Masonic Display on Colden Street and the Visitor Information Centre on the corner of Menangle and Argyle Streets.
The Picton Chamber of Commerce will host the Family Fun Day at RSL Park in Argyle Street from 12 noon. This will include a kids jumping castle, face painting, sausage sizzle and fairy floss plus a big screen showing cartoons from 6pm.
Music and entertainment for the event will include local bands, groups and buskers such as the local orchestra, Picton Strings, and other local acts Third Hour Band, Rani's Fire, Annika Jeffries and The Generators.
Country music artists Christie Lamb and Tori Darke will also perform along with Liam Maihi from The Voice 2015. Performances will run from midday through to 9pm at the Governors Hill Music Stage, Mary MaKillop Lane, Menangle Street. For a schedule of musical performances please click here.
The official opening of the festival will take place at 6pm with the Mayors Speech and the illuminated building projections will commence at 6.05pm and run until 9pm.
The illuminARTe Wollondilly Lantern Parade will include over 80 participants proudly displaying their own creative tea light lanterns as they walk through Menangle Street from 7 - 7.30pm. Each participant has hand made their lantern under the guidance of Lantern Artist Tracy Luff at special lantern making workshops.
This event proved very popular last year, with more than 20 000 people attending. The 2016 illuminARTe Festival is supported by Wollondilly Shire Council, Picton Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc, NSW Trade & Investments Arts NSW, Southern Tablelands Arts (STARTS) and Bradcorp Community Partnership Fund.