A city girl moved to the country. A Diploma in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens), a Diploma in Fashion Design (pattern making), a degree in Communication (Journalism)...the perpetual student of life
The regional Victorian town of Camperdown will celebrate its Scottish heritage again from 26 to 28 June with their annual Robert Burns Festival. The festival is in its 4th year and is growing year by year.
Kicking off with the Deer Stalkers Ball in the Camperdown Theatre Royal, the festival is comprised of a number of musical events and includes the Robert Burns Festival Ambrose Golf Day.
The Deer Stalkers Ball provides a three course meal, live music, and also a traditional address to the Haggis, which is served with its traditional accompaniments of neeps and tatties…if you dare! Having sampled this gastronomic delight at an earlier celebration of St Andrew's Day, I would thoroughly recommend trying it.
Musical events are being held in varied locations and artists include the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle Group, Fiona Ross and band, Likely Celts, Danny Spooner, and my favourite, the Peter Daffy Band. Having seen Peter Daffy play at an earlier event, I can highly recommend him for a musical treat.
The Robert Burns festival Ambrose Golf Day is held on Saturday June 27 and tees off at 12pm with a bagpipe/shotgun start which would put you in the mood to whack some balls around a glorious golf course in the 'wilds' of the Western Districts. Afternoon tea is included.
The connection with Camperdown and Robert Burns goes back to a settler called William Andrew Taylor who inherited a statue of Robert Burns then gifted it to Camperdown in 1883. The statue is said to have been based on the earliest known portrait of Robert Burns done by Peter Taylor in 1786. It is the oldest sculpture of Robert Burns in the world.
The statue was originally placed in the Camperdown Botanic gardens, but after being vandalised then restored, it is now on display in the Corangamite Shire Offices for safety.
If you get to Camperdown to celebrate the life of this gifted poet, and also the strong Scottish heritage of the Western Districts, you should also take a trip to the top of Mt Leura to get fantastic views of the district, and get some exercise exploring the walking tracks.
The impressive clock tower, which was built in 1897 and still reminds the town's inhabitants of what the time is, is worth a look and a few photos down the tree lined avenue in which it sits.
Tickets to all the events and a program of events are available either at the Corangamite Shire Offices or online through the festival website at www.camperdownburnsfestival.com