Festival with art and soul

FROM dashing dachshunds to singing starlets, Port Fairy’s Winter Weekend festival is aiming to have something for everyone. 

Artist Freya Marriott shows festival co-ordinator Ross Morey one of her blown glass pieces on display at Whale Bone Gallery during the Winter Weekends.

Artist Freya Marriott shows festival co-ordinator Ross Morey one of her blown glass pieces on display at Whale Bone Gallery during the Winter Weekends.

Running from Friday night until Monday afternoon, the theme is “art and soul”, featuring art exhibitions and activities

Co-ordinator Ross Morey said the Winter Weekends were now in their ninth year and had successfully met their goal of keeping people flowing through Port Fairy. “Because winter can be traditionally a quiet time, we’ve found it’s a really good time to keep enthusiasm up and enhance Port Fairy’s reputation as a great place to have festivals,” Mr Morey said.

The small organising committee had conducted surveys with local businesses to ensure the Winter Weekends worked for them, which resulted in three festivals becoming just two (one in June and one in July) in recent years, but Mr Morey said the events seemed to be running just right. “We’ve got a formula we believe works.”

The combination of big events, such as a performance by singer Lisa Edwards and her band at the Reardon Theatre on Saturday night, with local attractions like the town’s many art galleries and studios was key to that formula, he said.

But the biggest event of the Winter Weekend will be the Dachshund Dash. “That just gets bigger and bigger each year,” Mr Morey said. 

Other highlights will include a golf tournament, heritage walks and a fishing clinic and there will be kids activities and a screening of the Disney film Frozen. Whale Bone Gallery, Limestone Gallery, The Stag Inn’s Bolderwood Room and Blarney Books & Art will host exhibitions, while the Old Market Inn Art Studio will hold a silk scarf-making class and Eclectic Designs is running glass-blowing workshops.

Festival-goers can also help create a giant beanie as part of a community arts project.  A bus will do a loop of the galleries and art studios, departing from the Village Green every half hour.

mneal@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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