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St Marys Dutch Festival

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by Irenke Forsyth (subscribe)
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Eat, drink and enjoy the entertainment
Dutch culture is alive in Sydney's west, thanks to the volunteers of the Rembrandt Dutch Club. Each year they celebrate with a festival that aims to preserve traditions and showcase them within the Australian community.

St Marys Dutch Festival, Rembrandt Dutch Club
All things Dutch

All things Dutch, from the food to beverages and party habits, sees you getting a glimpse at the end of March into the fun that is synonymous with The Netherlands.

The Dutch Kitchen will be serving up dishes that include

Dutch food, Rembrandt Dutch Club
A combination of some of the meals below

Boerenkool consisting of kale, potatoes and smoked pork sausage (also known as Stamppot)

Hutspot as per above, but with carrots and onions used instead of kale

Pea soup using split peas with a combination of vegetables and either smoked pork knuckle, bacon or sausage, it is stew-like in consistency and served with rye bread

Pea soup, Rembrandt Dutch Club
Pea soup - a hearty warmer

Fish with eel and herring to choose from

Frikandel a sort of minced-meat hotdog with fries

Bitterballen a popular beef meatball snack, usually served with mustard and downed with a beer (speaking of which, the club is fully licensed and specialises in imported Dutch beers)

Bitterballen, Dutch meatballs
Try some tasty Bitterballen

Croquettes usually beef or veal mince with vegetables encased in a roll of fried butter, flour and chopped shallots

Poffertjes mini pancakes dusted in powdered sugar

Oliebollen Dutch doughnuts filled with raisins and dusted with powdered sugar

Oliebollen, Dutch donuts
Oliebollen - donuts, Dutch-style

Other cakes and ice cream will also be available and a Dutch supermarket/shop will sell everything from Dutch liquorice to vegetables. Dutch souvenirs are for sale too and include clogs, books, art and Delft Blue pottery/homewares.

Dutch souvenirs
Clogs, tea towels and more available at the club shop

The entertainment begins on Friday with the day being dubbed Seniors Day. There will be a 10am-3pm lunch show for seniors with music from The Evergreen Choir and the Little Black Ducks, as well as dancing to follow.

On Saturday, you'll be welcomed by the 7th Dutch Militia before music from Ron Ashton flows through your ears. An Elvis impersonator is also set to entertain you. Sunday sees the Dutch Connection, Backwater, Cool River Band, Dutch Borrel and more, bringing the vibes.

A special Kids' Corner on the weekend will keep the young ones busy. There's craft in the form of plaster painting and didgeridoo painting, face painting, flying darts, Sjoelen (a shuffleboard game using pucks) and more, for them to take part in.

Sjoelen, shuffle board
A typical Dutch Sjoelen

There's also a chocolate wheel, lucky dips and a silent auction with the lucky winner taking home a Ford Ranger 2018 model (wild pack) that is fully operational. It's got spotlights, headlights, dashboard lights, a car radio, audio system and 2-speed forward and reverse. Parents, note it is not suitable for under 3-year-olds.

The club has a photo wall with typical Dutch scenes, which is perfect for capturing memories, and a gorgeous Dutch street organ to admire. There's bound to be plenty of Instagramable moments.

Rembrandt Dutch Club, St Marys
Capture some snaps to remember your day long after it's over

Street organ, Rembrandt Dutch Club, St Marys
The pretty street organ

With the festival comes free entry and a free shuttle from St Marys station to the club and back. All you need to do is call from the station on the day, either Sjoerd on 0401 680638 or Johan on 0416 235331 and they will pick you up.

For further information on location and times, see below or visit the website.
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When: Fri & Sat 10am-late, Sun 10am-4pm
Phone: 02 9623 2569
Where: Rembrandt Dutch Club, 87 Dunheved Cct, St Marys
Cost: Free entry
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