Yeah baby! Moyneyana Festival revisits the ’60s

PORT Fairy’s famous Moyneyana Festival is set to turn back the clock as it prepares for another golden summer in the seaside town.

This year marks the 66th staging of the Moyneyana Festival and will celebrate with the theme “Retro 66”.

All things 1960s will be central to the popular New Year’s Eve procession in which more than 50 floats will wind their way along Port Fairy’s main streets.

The float organisers will have plenty of inspiration to draw on, with the Retro 66 theme taking in the fashions and music of the swinging 60s and even the introduction of decimal currency. New Year’s Eve is the showpiece event of the festival and attracts thousands of visitors and locals to line the streets and cheer the procession, culminating with a huge fireworks show at midnight.

But Moyneyana also offers much more, with the festival running from Christmas Eve until January 29.

Christmas Eve will be celebrated at the Village Green with children’s entertainment, spinning wheels and the arrival of Santa.

Long-standing chairman of the Moyneyana Festival, Reg Harry, has been involved almost as far back as he can recall.

His father Fred was a great friend of festival founder John Brophy and Mr Harry has fond memories from those early days.

“Since I was able to walk I suppose I have been involved in some way in the Moyneyana Festival,” Mr Harry said.

“I remember as a little kid tagging along with dad and Broph getting things set up: it was always part of my life.”

Mr Harry has been on the Moyneyana Festival committee since he was old enough to join and is in his third stint as chairman — his latest now in its 12th year.

He speaks with unabashed pride about the Moyneyana Festival and after all these years is as excited as ever about what lays ahead.

“We have another great program this year, we have a great committee and we get terrific support from the businesses in town so it will be another festival to remember,” he said.

Highlights this year include the Duck Derby on the Moyne River on New Year’s Day, the Summer Fair on the Village Green on January 11, the Port Fairy Belfast Lions Club Art Show from December 27 to January 5 and the Port Fairy Rodeo on Saturday, January 4 at the showgrounds.

Another big event for Port Fairy each summer is the South West Street Rodders Show ’n’ Shine, which will be held on the weekend of January 10-12.

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