While daffodils bloom in abundance amidst the highlands clime of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden in Mount Tomah of Sydney, the quaint Midlands town of Kyneton in the Macedon Ranges of Victoria is celebrating the white and yellow flower with a festival. The Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival waves goodbye to winter and welcomes spring with daffodils in a big way.
This premier central Victoria Spring celebration is one of a kind, featuring 11 days of events and activities in different venues all over the town. There will be competitions and prizes, recitals, street buskers, historic walks, markets, food and wine, Chinese lion and dragon dance etc. And don't forget the beautiful daffodils that bloom all over the town, its surrounds and in the local gardens.
There are just too many attractions to list. If you haven't planned any outings in September or still considering if the Festival is worth the drive, here are 9 reasons not to miss the biggest and best Spring festival in Victoria.
Sue Key, winner of the 2013 Daffodil Art Prize with 'Spring Cacophony' / Photo courtesy of Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival Association
There will be an exhibition of the submitted artworks containing daffodils for the Festival at the Mechanics Institute on Mollison Street. The winner of the $500 prize will be announced at the Festival opening on 4 September. You can also enjoy a photography exhibition entitled 'It's a Colourful World'. It contains submitted works of photographers vying for the Festival's Art Photography Prize of $250. The winner will be announced on opening day of the Festival.
Presented by Friends of Kyneton Museum, the Antique Fair will attract vintage dealers and visitors who are interested in jewellery, chinaware, glassware, porcelain figurines, coins, militaria and small furniture items. Light lunches and snacks will be available from the Rotary Club of Kyneton. The Fair operates from 5pm to 9pm on 5 September, 10am to 5pm on 6 September and 10am to 4pm on 7 September.
A unique event during the Festival features ferrets and the Victoria Ferret Association. Held at the Mechanics Reserve at 10.30am, you can enjoy activities such as the Daffodil Festival Sprint and the Ferret Racing Challenge Shield. There is even a prize for working ferrets sponsored by local individuals and businesses.
While it's not the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, this annual Festival highlight in the Watts Pavilion (Showgrounds) is where you can see a plethora of daffodils. Officially opened by the Festival King and Queen, the Show will also feature cut flowers, potted plants, floral art, home garden competition and a children's creative area from 1pm to 5pm on 6 September and 10am to 4.30pm on 7 September.
'The Life & Times of Scarecrows' Townwide Competition - 7 Sept
An interesting competition exhibit displayed in the Mechanics Reserve and selected gardens, public spaces and shops in town are scarecrows. You can pick up a map, check out the scarecrows and even vote for your favourite. Prizes for the best scarecrows will be awarded on 14 September.
The Festival offers a compelling reason to visit the Kyneton Farmers' and Makers' markets. You and your family get to enjoy all the festivities and still be able to browse a wide selection of central Victorian produce and handmade arts and craft products from 8.30am to 1pm. The high ground of St Paul's Church which host the Makers' Market also provides a view of the surrounds and St Paul's Park.
Old Time Balls are hard to come by these days but there's one happening in the Kyneton Town Hall at 8pm on 13 September. For only $15 per person, you can watch the award of sashes and Beau of the Ball, enjoy live music, taste of country delicacies from Country Cob Bakery and dance the night away.
The Grade Parade will feature a dazzling array of costumes, stilt walkers, dancers, bands and even floats. It will commence at 12.30pm on Mollison Street at the Showgrounds and finish at the intersection of Simpson Street. Unlike Moomba, you can follow the Parade to a street party in the High Street and a family fair in the Mechanics precinct.