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The Act-Belong-Commit Toodyay Moondyne Festival 2016

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by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Event:
Swaggies, Floozies, Joe, Coppers and a great time for all
On Sunday 1st of May, the township of Toodyay celebrates the life and times of Moondyne Joe by holding The Act-Belong-Commit Toodyay Moondyne Festival 2016.

Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Festival 2016, Moondyne Joe, Toodyay, Healthway, Colonial, Regiment
Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Joe Festival (Photograph courtesy Shire of Toodyay)


This festival takes place in the main street, Stirling Terrace which is closed off at 9.00am until 4.00pm. The opening ceremony is at 10.00am following a colourful, energetic and noisy parade with the street actors, pipe band, rifle regiment and many more.

Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Festival 2016, Moondyne Joe, Toodyay, Healthway, Colonial, Regiment
Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Joe Festival (Photograph courtesy Shire of Toodyay)


The Festival is the premier colonial festival in WA, first held in 1984, to celebrate the life and times of Joseph Bolitho Johns, known as 'Moondyne Joe'.

Joe was a sometime horse-thief and poacher roaming the Avon Valley and Hills, although local legend paints him as a bushranger.

Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Festival 2016, Moondyne Joe, Toodyay, Healthway, Colonial, Regiment
Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Joe Festival (Photograph courtesy Shire of Toodyay)


Joe was famous as a repeat escapee from Newcastle (Toodyay) gaol and Fremantle gaol. The festival transforms the picturesque and historical town of Toodyay in the Avon Valley into a lively daylong festival.

A highlight of the Festival is the Street Theatre re-enactment of Moondyne Joe's various escapades throughout the town, his arrests and mock trials while being a general menace.

Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Festival 2016, Moondyne Joe, Toodyay, Healthway, Colonial, Regiment
Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Joe Festival (Photograph courtesy Shire of Toodyay)


Cheer on 'Joe's gang' and the floozies, coppers, swaggies and town crier. The addition in 2015 of the Colonial Village with its interactive swaggies inn, general store, courtroom, blacksmith, blade shearer, poets and bush band has proved to be very popular.

The day has the atmosphere of a wild town fair with: an 1860's rifle regiment, Kalamunda pipe band, blacksmith, wood chopping, local spinners, wood turners and potters.

Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Festival 2016, Moondyne Joe, Toodyay, Healthway, Colonial, Regiment
Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Joe Festival (Photograph courtesy Shire of Toodyay)


With free entry, and entertainment all day the town comes alive with colour, sound, song, dance and laughter.

Come experience the wonderful community spirit in the centre of Toodyay, complete with continuous street entertainment; stilt walkers; artisan and heritage crafts; art, vintage cars and bikes, antiques and art exhibitions; healthy food stalls.

Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Festival 2016, Moondyne Joe, Toodyay, Healthway, Colonial, Regiment
Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Joe Festival (Photograph courtesy Shire of Toodyay)


There is loads of non-stop, amazing fun and physical activities for all the family including camel, pony and Clydesdale rides, billy carts and egg and spoon races.

Everyone is encouraged to come dressed in period costume and join in the fun. The Act-Belong-Commit Toodyay Moondyne Festival 2016 is a smoke free event, and is proudly sponsored by Healthway - being active, having a sense of belonging, and having a purpose in life all contribute to happiness and good mental health and wellbeing.

Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Festival 2016, Moondyne Joe, Toodyay, Healthway, Colonial, Regiment
Act Belong Commit Toodyay Moondyne Joe Festival (Photograph courtesy Shire of Toodyay)


Thanks to our other sponsors of LotteryWest, TourismWA, Roadwise, Department of Regional Development, Royalties for Regions and the Shire of Toodyay for making this amazing festival possible.

Check out our Website or Facebook page for more information…or go and say hi at the information booth on the day.

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Why? A wonderful free festival for all the family
When: 9am to 4pm
Where: Township of Toodyay
Cost: Free
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