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Rosto Festival of the Fleeces 2018

Home > Sydney > Breakfast | Escape the City | Family | Fun for Children | Weekend Escapes
by Carolyn Hopping (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Event: -
Spend The Long Weekend In The Beautiful Upper Hunter
Located in the beautiful Upper Hunter region, just 327 kilometres north-west of Sydney, Merriwa is a classic Australian country town, brimming with charm and old-fashioned hospitality. The town's rural heritage dates back to the days when Australia's economy 'rode of the sheep's back' and wool production has been a major local industry since the early days of colonial settlement. Celebrating this heritage, every June long weekend Merriwa springs to life, when the annual Rosto Festival of the Fleeces takes place.

Image courtesy of the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces Facebook page


The first Festival of the Fleeces took place in 1990 and over the ensuing years the event has grown in both size and popularity. This year's festival will kick off on Friday June 8th at 6.00pm with a fabulous Family Magic Show, which will be held at Merriwa Sports Club on King George V Ave. Starring talented magician, 'The Amazing Christo', the magic show will be an enjoyable way for the whole family to relax upon arriving in town, and whet guests' appetites for all the fun and excitement ahead. The official opening of the festival will also take place, as well as a warm-up for the Bush Poets' Breakfast which will take place on Sunday morning.

Image courtesy of the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces Facebook page


Saturday is the main day of the festival, and a jam-packed program will be held at various locations throughout town although most of the action will take place at Merriwa Showgrounds. Some of the many special events to look out for are the famous 'Running of the Sheep in Red Socks', modern-day shearing displays, traditional blade shearing displays, wool-spinning demonstrations, working sheep dog displays, dog high jump demonstrations, a tug-a-war, vintage vehicle displays, team penning championships and Merriwa's Hanging of the Quilts.

Image courtesy of the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces Facebook page


There is also plenty to keep the youngest members of the family happy and entertained. Although youngsters will definitely be captivated by the above events, attractions that have been provided just for them include performances by Sparkles the Clown, various other special amusements and GJ's Laser Tag. In addition, the whole family will be sure to enjoy the street parade that that will take place on the big day and the fireworks display that will be held in the evening.

Image courtesy of the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces Facebook page


A big attraction on Saturday will be the Hanging of the Quilts, taking place at the town's School of Arts on Bow Street, where you can admire the handiwork of some of the Merriwa region's most talented quilters. While you're there, you can also try your luck at the event's raffle and go into the draw to win a beautiful handcrafted quilt.

Sunday morning will bring a close to the festival with a Bush Poets Breakfast at the local CWA hall, hosted by renowned Australian poet, Peter Mace. This will include a competition for aspiring bush poets with a prize purse of $500. This event will take place from 8am until 11am. Entry will be $5.00 per person with an extra $5.00 charged if you'd like breakfast. The Merriwa CWA hall is situated on Bettington Street.

Image courtesy of the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces Facebook page
Image courtesy of the Merriwa Festival of the Fleeces Facebook page


In conclusion, if you're looking for a fun and affordable family getaway over the June long weekend, far from the noise and chaos of city life, this wonderful celebration of traditional rural life will definitely tick all the right boxes.

Mudgee is situated in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales, on the Golden Highway just under four hours' drive from Sydney, and two and a half hours' travel from Newcastle. The Festival of the Fleeces will take place over the Queen's Birthday long weekend, beginning on the evening of Friday June 8th and concluding on Sunday June 10th making it a perfect family mini-break. Most of the action will take place at Merriwa Showground, although various events will also occur at various other locations around the town. Merriwa and the surrounding townships provide a variety of places where guests can stay during their sojourn, including bed and breakfast accommodation, traditional pub rooms, a motel, and caravan park.

To find out more, go to the Rosto Festival of the Fleeces website.
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Why? For a fun and affordable family getaway in the beautiful Upper Hunter
When: Friday June 8 - Sunday June 10
Where: The lovely town of Merriwa in the Upper Hunter region
Cost: Mostly free
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