Its clear people love festivals — Sydney’s 2017 Vivid has just set a new record of 2.33 million attendees but what’s the appetite and community commitment like in the regions?
One of the oldest NSW regional events is the Henry Lawson Festival of the Arts at Grenfell in central NSW, which has been run for 60 consecutive years. About 7,000 people attend, almost doubling the town’s population and is the single biggest event on the town’s economic calendar.
Illuminating opportunities is the town of Lithgow, west of the NSW Blue Mountains, with its event called LithGlow a weekend showcasing and celebrating Lithgow’s remarkable story of industrial innovation da-ting back to the late nineteenth century.
The city of Bathurst has a mid-year Winter Festival, largely based on illuminating heritage buildings.
If you are a music buff you can’t go past the Parkes Elvis Festival in Tamworth and the ABBA Festival in the nearby town of Trundle.
Attending regional events is very similar to an event held in a neighbouring city but there is room for everyone!
Each year rural Australia puts on an impressive line-up of festivals and events that shines the spotlight on the country’s passion for arts, music, food and wine, sport, agriculture shows, nature and country hospitality. Here’s a snapshot of what you can experience when getting out wide!
Dorrigo Folk & Bluegrass Festival
An acoustic weekend of concerts, workshops, jamming, dancing and more, focused primarily on Old-Time, Bluegrass and Folk traditions. A family friendly festival with something for everyone.
Fri 26th – Sun 28th Oct
Bellingen Fine Music Festival
Now in its ninth year, the festival can rightly claim its place as one of regional Australia’s foremost fine music events. An expanding program, concerts, workshops and other events around the town the festival offers great musical experiences at prices city people can only dream of.
Thu 27th – Sun 30th Nov
Dorrigo & Guy Fawkes Agricultural Show
Traditional country shows are rare these days but this one is full of old-world charm and will make it a weekend for the whole family.
Fri 23rd – Sun 25th Nov
4180 Waterfall Way, Dorrigo
Carcoar Cup Running Festival
This is the ultimate family running weekend, with events for all abilities and ages.
6 Bellubula Street
Carcoar NSW 2791
Market stalls and multiple competitions like the popular flowers, craft, cooking, photography, chainsaw, horse, and cattle competitions.
Saturday 10th November
Pascoe Street Neville Showground
Neville NSW 2799
Carcoar Village Fair
Carcoar had Australia’s first daylight armed bank hold up. This event is being re-enacted by the Gold Trails Re-enactment Group (Australia’s premier re-enactment troupe) complete with a team of horsemen and in the original location in this National Trust listed village. Additionally, there will be exciting talks in the historic courthouse by authors and historians about famous Bushrangers, market stalls, Cobb and Co rides, children’s entertainment including puppet shows, vintage cars, picnics by the river, bush tucker demonstrations and more.
Saturday 26th January
Belubula, Icely and Naylor Streets
Carcoar NSW 2791
Held twice a year, usually on the first Sunday of both April and December, the Millthorpe Markets are acknowledged as one of the best in NSW with visitors enjoying great food, excellent stalls and a wonderful atmosphere.
2nd December 2018
Redmond Oval, Millthorpe,
Weethalle Garden Bus Tour
Enjoy a day out with family and friends, being inspired on a garden tour wandering through the rural, private gardens of the local Weethalle Community.
Cost: $20 per person private vehicle or $35 per person on the bus. Includes morning tea and a light lunch.
Sat 22nd Sept
Ungarie Show, Rodeo & Gymkhana
Celebrating 90 years and full of activities from horse events, quick shear, Miss Showgirl Contents and plenty of more
Sat 8th Sept
Cowal Gold Mine Charity Golf Day
3-person Ambrose, nominations close 19th Oct.
West Wyalong Golf Course
Sat 20th Oct
View the amazing quilts and quilted items on display, shop at the lovely stalls where you’ll find an array of items for sale including patchwork, quilting & sewing supplies, beautiful handmade gifts and other crafts too!
Sat 8th – Sun 9th Sept
Clarence Town School of Arts Hall.
Vacy Village Country Carnival
It’s on again – escape to the country, if just for a day, to immerse yourself in the magical charm of the Vacy Village Country Carnival. The annual fair promises a fun day out for all. There is something for everyone including the famous Jack Russell races and also a Dachshund competition.
Sun 9th Sept
Vacy Village 20 minutes drive north of Maitland
Veteran Car Club National Rally
Some 300 veteran car enthusiasts drawn from all corners of Australia are expected in the shire for 5 days. A gaslight parade will be held late afternoon Wed 26th Sept.
Sun 23rd – Fri 28th Sept
1st Biennial spring Flower & Rose Show
Friday 13th Oct
Forbes Services Memorial Club
Forbes Baby Boomers Festival
Iconic music of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Tribute shows of the legends of the Baby Boomer era. Five shows over three days for your enjoyment and entertainment.
Friday 26th Oct
Forbes Services Memorial Club
Sax Blue – Jazz in the Convent Garden
Enjoy a garden party whilst listening jazz & other classics, a saxophone quartet.
Sun 9th Step
Australian Brandenburg Ensemble
Join the award-wining evening concert int eh stunning Chapel of the Sisters of Mercy Convent Singleton. The concert is titled ‘Notturno’, simply meaning night.
Wed 24th Oct
Walcha Mountain Festival
Walcha farmers market, live music, vintage cars, craft beers & vintage wines.
Sat 20th – Sun 21st Oct
Sat: McHattan Park, South & Fitzroy St, Walcha
Sun: Langford House (Grounds), Thunderbolts Way, Walcha
Walcha Aero Club – Fly in & Aero Show
Aero Show – fun for the whole family. Get up close to the fixed wing aircraft, ultralights, helicopters and enjoy the aerobatic show. Planes around the region will fly in during the morning
Sat 3rd – Sun 4th Nov
Walcha Aerodrome, Aerodrome Rd, Walcha
Siding Spring Observatory
For one day of the year, its telescopes are open to the public. It’s your chance to take a closer look at the operations of Australia’s largest optical telescope site.
Sat 29th Sept
Observatory Rd, Coonabarabran
Starfest – The Bok Lecture
Sun 30th Sept
Coonabaraban Bowling Club
The nation’s best rodeo athletes competing within the ABCRA rodeo circuit. Enjoy the events alongside trade stalls, great food and company with a bar operating into the late hours accompanied by live entertainment.
Sat 13th Oct
Veterans Touch Footy Carnival
After a great day of competition, join the party atmosphere on Saturday night with all hotels and clubs providing live entertainment. Activities will be arranged for the Saturday night of the touch carnival at the Coolah Sporting Club, Coolah Valley Hotel and the Black Stump Inn.
Sat 3rd – Sun 4th Nov
Bowen Oval, Coolah
Tunes on the Turf Music Festival
Tunes on the Turf is a music festival with 12 hours of nonn-stop music featuring artists from around NSW. The festival will go ahead regardless of the weather.
Sat 10th Nov
Wargundy Street Dunedoo Sports Club
Main picture: Spring Saxes in the Garden – a concert by Sax Blue