Escape to the country for the Hepburn Springs & Daylesford's annual Swiss Italian Festa.
The aim of the 5 day multicultural festival is to celebrate Swiss Italian (from the Italian speaking region of Ticino in Switzerland to Northern Italy) history, culture and lifestyle in Hepburn Springs that began with settlers there in the 1850's.
Running from October 30th until November 3rd, the festival will cater to all elements of the history it's promoting, with activities and events like exhibitions, food & wine events, foreign film screenings, heritage walks, open gardens and musical performances. The Swiss Italian Festa also gives visitors and descendants of the settlers the chance to learn and experience their rich and vibrant history.
Some of the events running throughout the Festa include:
Gold Tours (31 Oct - Nov 3) - explore historical gold fields, sites where settlers used to pan for gold in the 1800's and give it a go yourself.
Festa Image Artist Exhibition (Oct 31 - Nov 6) - current collection by Peter Kirk inspired by the 16:9 cinema graphics at The Convent Gallery.
Circus Shenanigans and Pasta (Nov 1) - Enjoy some al dente pasta and enjoy a show filled with slapstick, feats of strength and super skilled shenanigans at The Pavilion Café.
Laugh, cry, or dance to Gypsy romance songs by Cosmo Cosmolino live at The Convent
Family Bocce Tournament (Nov 1) - that's 'Famiglia Bocce Torneo' in Italian- join local descendants for an afternoon of Bocce the way it's played the village squares of Northern Italia.
La Primavera at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm (Nov 3) - celebrate the beginning of spring - Sicily style; explore the farm's Ticinese history, gardens, olive grove and 1860's stone architecture, meet the animals, and take part in Sicilian singers and dancers performing folk music & the Tarantella while you dine on classic Italian cuisine or BYO picnic.
The Grand Finale Parade (Nov 3) - not to be missed, this year the parade will include yodellers, singers, horses and Daylesford's Brass and Pipe bands, along with children from local schools (kinder to secondary). This year's theme is 'Gold' which will surely make for some beautiful floats and costumes. After the parade the Family Finale Festa will begin - a day of music, food, dance, circus acts and theatre. Get your face painted and be entertained by a waiters race, jesters, and the Spaghetti Slurping contest (enter yourself if you like).
The Daylesford Brass Band at the Festa's Finale Parade
Throughout the week there will also be family concerts and parades. Competitions & prizes are also on the cards with children's art exhibitions and drawing competitions.