Head to Australia's colour city, Orange, between Friday 7 and Monday 17 February 2014 for Slow Summer Banjo Paterson Festival. Like the title suggests, the Festival is the amalgamation of the 150 year celebration of Banjo Paterson and the Slow Summer Festival. As Mr Paterson was born in Orange, it is only fitting that celebrations are held right here in Orange.
Expect a jam-packed program across 11 big days filled with wonderful events, exhibitions, markets, concerts, to name a few. Join in the celebrations and festivities the Festival has to offer, many of which are free and fabulous.
It is best to have a look at their full program available on the Taste Orange website where you'll also find times, dates, venues and booking information.
Read on for some of the best parts of this year's Festival.
Free & Fabulous
Take advantage of the free and fabulous events some of which are offered throughout the week while others are available on specific dates.
Freebies throughout the week include various displays and exhibitions. For things to see, head to Orange Regional Art Gallery for the Banjo Time Line - a chronological display of AB Paterson's life; pop by Orange City Library for their display of Banjo's published works; check out Banjo themed shop fronts; visit Orange Ex-services Club to see Banjo Paterson War Display; and drop by the permanent AB Paterson exhibition in Yeoval for a cuppa.
On the other hand, grab a self-drive brochure from the Orange Visitor Information Centre highlighting the early years Banjo spent in and around Orange; experience live Australian Colonial music or verse in the streets and villages of the district; and early birds can go to Robertson Park at 6.30am for a morning of energising exercises.
There are also plentiful one-off free events. Take a journey around the historic village of Millthorpe on Saturday 8 February; stroll through the Orange Cemetery with historian Elizabeth Griffin on Wednesday 12 February; and join the curator on a tour of Orange Health Service Arts Projects on Thursday 13 February.
Relax to tunes played by City of Orange Brass Band in the gorgeous Cook Park on Sunday 9 February or come to judge Battle of the Bards on Saturday 15 and vote for your favourite Banjo inspired performance.
Sunday 16 February provides three fantastic events including Banjo Paterson Festival Run which is suitable for all ages; Family Day @ Emmaville Cottage with heaps of market stalls, kids' activities, and excellent entertainment; and the scenic Banjo's Trail Bug Bike Ride.
Miss It or Regret It
The night market on Friday 7 February at Robertson Park is a must visit for market lovers. Expect artisan stalls, the freshest Orange produce and plenty of other products for you to browse. Bring your family and friends for there is something here for everyone.
Head to the beach at Lake Canobolas on Saturday 15 February for A Day at the Beach. Celebrating water, outdoors and a healthy lifestyle, entry to this fantastic event will be a gold coin giving you exclusive access to Dragonboat Carnivale, the Amazing Mystery Quest, a kids zone, live music and so much more. On the same day, the talented Wallis and Matilda will be performing their musical interpretations of AB Paterson's works at Orange Ex-Services Club from 7pm.
You're also invited to Banjo's birthday bash at Emmaville Cottage on Sunday 16 February. From 9am to 2pm, the Orange Botanic Garden Precinct will be full of all sorts of fun. Browse the market stalls; kids will be kept busy with games and rides; relax to Banjo's poems sung by Wallis and Matilda; and enjoy the shearing and sheep dog demonstrations. Entry is totally free so you can relish everything this event has to offer without breaking the bank. Even better.
Wine & Dine
The Festival is offering plenty of opportunities to wine and dine. Whether you're planning a small gathering, date night or family dinner, Banjo has you covered.
Kick off your weekend on Friday 7 February with a drink while taking in the beautiful sunset followed by a delicious three course meal on the green at Duntryleague Golf Course. On Saturday 8 February, take a tour of Mandagery Farm before settling down for a three course lunch or attend the Twilight Garden Party at Stockman's Ridge for an evening of food, wine, music and fun.
Start your day with awesome Rotary Brekky and Poetry in the Park every day from Monday 10 to Friday 14 February which will definitely make your days better.
On Saturday 15 February, the Taste International Dressage in Orange is putting on a feast containing scrumptious food, freestyle dressage to music as well as competitions; and the Mayfield Vineyard is offering an evening of pasta, plonk and poetry.
Gather at Charles Sturt University Cellar Door for a sample of their sparkling wine paired with a fresh summer brunch on Sunday 16 February or enjoy a magnificent outdoor dinner at Banjo Paterson Birthday Dinner on Monday 17 February.
Shows, Tells & Other Fun Stuff
Head to Newstead Bowling Club for a range of Banjo themed artworks; Art Exhibition and Studio Tours at Colour City Creatives throughout the week to see artists at work; and Orange Civic Theatre for some of Australia's most loved poems.
If you're a poet and you know it, then share your poetry at Mortimer's Wines Amateur Poetry Regatta. If you're great at fishing then take part in 'Old Man' Yabbie Fishing Competition. And if you're a brilliant banjo player, Duelling Banjos competition is waiting for you at the Gladstone Hotel.
For the active humans, Summer Twilight Street Orienteering may tickle your fancy or for something that will get your adrenaline pumping, bring your BMW to Ginja Ninja 250 to Kinross State Forest.