Gayle Beveridge is a past winner of the Boroondara Literary Awards and her work has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing. Gayle is passionate about family, writing, photography, and with Victoria’s beautiful Bass Coast which she now calls home.
Published January 14th 2018
Weird, wacky and wonderful
Who doesn't love a festival? They're a great day out or weekend away made even better if out of the ordinary. So do head off to the usual and enjoy the music, the food, the cars, or the agriculture but don't miss these weird and wacky themed events. From pirates to tea cosies they offer a mixed bunch of merriment.
Come to the Grantville Pirate Festival in costume and compete for prizes (Photo in the Public Domain via Pixabay)
1. The Lobster Festival at Kilcunda has been running for more than 30 years. The family festival includes a lobster spinning wheel, raffles, a carnival, rides, an animal nursery, market stalls, live music, food and drink and of course lobsters and more lobsters. The 2018 festival takes place on 28th January at the Kilcunda foreshore carpark on the Bass Highway alongside of Victoria's scenic coastline. Visit the website for more details or telephone 0400 065 253.
Try your luck on the lobster spinning wheel (Photo from the Kilcunda Lobster Festival Facebook Page)
2. The Grantville Pirate Festival, run by the Maru Koala and Animal Park and Pirate Mini Golf, is a favourite with the kids. This always popular family venue pulls out the stops for the annual Pirate Festival. There will be roving characters in pirate costume, jumping castles, an inflatable slide, prizes for best pirate and wench costumes, face painting, treasure hunts and pirate games. The 2018 festival will run in April at Grantville on the Bass Highway. Check the website for more details.
Junior pirates meet a lizard at the Grantville Pirate Festival (Photo from the Maru Koala and Animal Park Facebook Page)
3. The Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival only in its fourth year ensures the art of making tea cosies has not faded away with the advent of tea bags. The 2018 festival will be held from the 19th to the 27th of May. The 2018 theme is TEAnation which will focus on cultures where tea making is a symbol of hospitality. Tea cosy making competitions are held and prizes awarded in several categories. Fish Creek is in South Gippsland. Check the website for more details and to download entry forms.
Will your entry be as bright as this giant cosy (Photo from Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival Facebook Page)
4. The Ararat Jailhouse Rock Festival began in 1994 and runs annually in this history-laden town often referred to as the Gateway to the Grampians. This annual festival which has been running since 1995 celebrates the 1950's and 1960's. Throughout the town, there is music, rock 'n roll dancing, period fashions, cars and motorcycles, food and drink, merchandise stalls and more. In 2018 festival runs from the 16th to the 18th March 2. Check the Facebook page for updates.
Stepping into the past (Photo from Ararat Jailhouse Rock Festival Facebook Page)
5. The Victorian Wheelie Bin Championships are held annually in Thoona, near Wangaratta. Take a wheelie bin, add wheels or something ridiculous, nominate the rider and the pusher and join the race. In 2018 the championships will be held on the 17th of March. A car boot sale and market stalls complement the festive atmosphere. Visit the website for more details or telephone on (03) 5765 2205 for entry forms and conditions.
Ridiculous Re-purposing (Photo from Thoona Wheelie Bin Championships Facebook Page)
6. The Dinner Plain Geebung Polo may have been inspired by Banjo Paterson's poem but it offers much more. In addition to a spirited game of polo, this family day out includes rides, games, fashion on the field, face painting, live music, food and wine stalls, helicopter rides, and an Easter egg drop. The 2018 festival runs on Sunday 1st April at Dinner Plan in Victoria's high country. Check the website for more details or telephone (03) 9585 8330.
A right rollicking game in Victoria's high country (Photo from Dinner Plain Geebung Polo Facebook Page)
7. The Timeline Festival is held at Kryal Castle. It features re-enactments of not only the medieval period but from the days of Ancient Rome through to World War Two. A Living History Village is constructed next to the castle for the festival. The public are invited to attend in costume to get into the spirit. More than 350 people take part in the re-enactments and displays. The 2018 festival runs on the 27th and 28th of October at Kryal Castle, near Ballarat. Check the website for more details.
Attention to detail is paramount in these re-enactments (Photo from Timeline Festival 2018 Facebook Page)
8. The National Celtic Festival is a celebration of Celtic culture that attracts thousands of people to Portarlington over the June long weekend. There will be an abundance of music and dance, theatre, storytellers, limerick competitions, conversation panels, markets and more. In 2018 the festival runs from 8th to 11th June around the town of Portarlington. Check the website for more details.
Dancing is just one of the things to see (Photo from the National Celtic Festival Australia Official Facebook Page)
9. The Thorpdale Potato Festival died out for more than a decade but was reintroduced in 2015 with great success. It is a bi-annual event which will run again in 2019. This very hands-on festival celebrates the Thorpdale's potato growing history; Come along and participate in potato sack races, hessians in the field, potato picking challenges, pallet throwing and mash eating competitions. The festival includes live music, sheepdog trials, vintage machinery, stunt bikes, and market stalls to mention but a few. The festival runs in March. Check the website for more details.
Challenge yourself (Photo from the Thorpdale Potato Festival Facebook Page)
10. The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival is inspired by the famous poem and designed to reflect what that meant to our horsemen and women. Naturally the program is jam packed with horse events but it doesn't stop there. The public will be entertained with dog events, whip cracking, historic machinery displays, a ute muster, poetry, and bush music, art and photography, a parade, buskers, markets and more. The 2018 festival runs from the 5th to the 8th of April in Corryong. Check the website for more details.