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Now that Adelaide's brief but draining affair with bicycles has come to a sweaty end, it's time to look forward to another fistful of festivals in February, with treats to tease most of your senses. From music to mime, gardening to gourmet goodies, there is a festival to lure you from your lair into Adelaide's sizzling summer sun.
Fortunately the Tour Down Under proved that the newly renovated Victoria Square is a winner for handling crowds, and now the Fringe Festival will test it further with one of our new super venues - the Royal Croquet Club.
Tonsley TAFE's Sustainable Industries Education Centre
February is not quite so appealing for students, with most returning to study this month at the end of their summer holidays. The opening of a brand new TAFE at Tonsley will mean a change of location for many as campuses at Marleston, O'Halloran Hill and Panorama are closed down and sold. The $120 million TAFE building at the former Mitsubishi factory will be joined next year by a new Flinders University campus too, with other retail, residential and commercial development to come.
Students at the University of Adelaide have celebrated Prosh for over 100 years during Orientation Week in February with some notorious stunts. When I was at university flour and water bombs flew around the campus on Prosh Day, while in 1973 engineering students even suspended a car underneath the University footbridge. But these days life on campus is much different.
A Car Under the Adelaide University Footbridge (1973)
Back then Australian universities were the conscience of the country, leading the charge of social change. No more. The stifling of student unions has largely destroyed community life in universities.
Now universities are the twenty first century's equivalent of the former Chrysler and Kelvinator factories - an assembly line processing raw resources from here and overseas into graduates, in a new parody of mass production industry.
But hey, let's indulge in some retro fun and take a look at some Prosh pranks from days gone by, then read on to find out what's on in Adelaide. All the Prosh images are courtesy of the University of Adelaide Digital Library.
Adelaide University Students March in King William Street (1915)
February kicks off with a free Chinese New Year street party in Adelaide's Chinatown on Saturday February 1. There will be heaps of wandering street performers, food stalls, and a concert to keep the whole family entertained in the evening.
Soundpond Street Level Sunday February 9 sees popular online music hub Soundpond hosting their latest event Street Level in Adelaide's Coromandel Place. Expect much music, massive markets, food trucks including Phat Buddha, and a bar (of course), live art, parkour practitioners, and mini bike jousting!
The Fringe Festival
While much of the Fringe Festival is not free (as we need to feed our performers), there are some great free things to do in Adelaide happening in February. Although the Garden of Unearthly Delights and Gluttony are back again this year, I have some new suggestions too.
The free Opening Night Parade through the city on Friday February 14 will delight Adelaide kids and their parents. Some 30,000 people are expected to come along, so get in early for a good spot.
After the parade wander over to The Science Exchange for their free opening night party. While you're there, check out the free art exhibition - Insight Radical: Where Science Meets Art.
Don't despair if you're in the northern suburbs because there is a new Fringe Festival venue called The Salisbury Secret Garden hosting a free family concert on Saturday February 22, with many other acts during the following week.
As you wander Garden of Unearthly Delights keep an eye out for Dulcie the Boutique Bus which is set to make an appearance again. It's a novel way to pick up something retro and help a charity.
Adelaide Festival of Arts
The 2014 Adelaide Festival of Arts is back on Friday February 28, and we have lots of tips for free events at both festivals this year in this article.
Councils in Adelaide have long had disagreements with the State Government on heritage matters, and a forum sponsored by UniSA's Hawke Centre and the National Trust of SA will explore the issues at a free forum on Thursday February 20. Registration in advance is requested.
A Fruity Festival
If you're a home gardener (or want to be) then go to the Tomato Festival in the Botanic Gardens on Sunday Feb 23. Even if you just like cooking or eating tomatoes, you'll get some good tips.
Did you miss these free events?
The free Archer's Arcadia exhibition finishes Thursday February 13 - if you haven't been yet then go soon!
The State Government's Experience Riverbank Festival continues this month - take a look to see what to do in Adelaide on the banks of the River Torrens.
Adelaide kids just love playing with Lego, so if you haven't been to the State Library's free Brick by Brick yet, you know what to do!
Not Free, but Fun Things to Do
The Adelaide Milling Co Mill in the Harts Mill Precinct
St Jerome's Laneway Festival
Port Adelaide is a fantastic place to visit with a stack of fun things to do, but on Friday February 7 the renowned St Jerome's Laneway Festival hits the iconic Harts Mill precinct. Despite people getting the two mills confused, you can not miss this huge event. It's got music, markets, and more goodies from a fleet of food trucks than you can swallow.
It certainly isn't free, bit it will be a blast.
A quite different type of music lovers will be under the stars at Wittunga Gardens on February 7 for a more family oriented concert. Find out more.
Food and Wine Festivals Taste the Limestone Coast takes place at Naracoorte over the weekend of February 7-9, offering you a chance to match some of those rich reds from the Coonawarra with some awesome country foods. It's an affordable family event with music and fun for the kids.
Closer to home the same weekend is the Carnevale at the Adelaide Showgrounds, bringing you a little taste of Italy. At $15 entry for adults it isn't cheap, but you can enter for half price on Saturday from 10am-1pm.
The Cellar Door Wine Festival is held over the weekend of February 14-16 at the Adelaide Convention Centre. Entry is $30 online or $33 at the door, which includes a wine glass and calico bag. Personally I would rather spend it on a really nice bottle of wine from somewhere like Tenafeate Creek Winery or Fox Creek Winery, and avoid the crowds, but that's just me.
Interesting article Dave. I fondly remember my years at Adelaide Uni, also remember a blue car put in the Torrens with a police light on top of it, in the early eighties. I remember the architects vs engineers flour & water fights. A mate of mine made a 'balloon launcher' which could fire water balloons over buildings! As they say, youth is wasted on the young.....
G'day! Another GREAT article Dave! There are heaps of free things to do in Adelaide; GREAT free Supermarket Tour via The Campbelltown Council helping people help themselves make healthier choices for their food lifestyle.