Preparations underway for Wattle Festival
by HURSTBRIDGE WATTLE FESTIVAL COMMITTEE
24th July 2023
THE YELLOW WATTLE is beginning to bloom across the municipality, which means it is nearly time for the 2023 Hurstbridge Wattle Festival. Held on Sunday, August 27, between 10am and 4pm, this annual festival signals springtime in Melbourne’s northern suburbs and is a free, family-friendly event, guaranteed to have something for everyone to enjoy.
Every year, a packed program of music and activities spans nearly one kilometre of the main streets of Hurstbridge.
The 2023 program includes heritage steam train rides between Hurstbridge and Eltham, two stages of live music, over 100 market stalls, BMX and scooter competitions, dog obstacle courses, camel rides, and exclusive event food and wine offers, and much, much more. Hurstbridge Primary School will host the Country Women’s Association Devonshire tea and scones event.
Festival staple, the Wattle Witches, are also back by popular demand. Hurstbridge Wattle Festival brings meaning to the term community festival.
It happens because of the ongoing commitment of almost every community group in Hurstbridge.
The tennis club runs tennis clinics; the Scouts run high ropes and sausage sizzles.
Hurstbridge Men’s Shed, the local childcare provider, CFA, and many Hurstbridge street traders are also involved. Festival Coordinator Carol Jenkinson said last year’s festival was “huge”, and the committee hopes to replicate its success.
“We enjoyed a perfect spring day and saw over 15,000 people visit Hurstbridge and enjoy a grass-roots community festival,” she said.
The Hurstbridge Yarnbombing group will again work with Allwood House and community volunteers to “yarnbomb” significant tress yellow and string up over 500 pom poms.
Every year, new and old Hurstbridge businesses love to see the festival spring to life and bring crowds, and business, to town. Earlier this year, the Wattle Festival was grateful to receive a community event grant from the Victorian Government, which will assist in improving accessibility to, from, and around the festival.
This grant will focus on engaging local entertainment, musicians, and operators, supporting Nillumbik businesses and artists. Hurstbridge Wattle Festival began in 2004 and has become a symbol of Hurstbridge’s community spirit, even during the pandemic.
“The 2020 and 2021 festivals moved online, trying to bring the joy of the festival to our community even during Melbourne lockdowns.
“We celebrated locally by painting Hurstbridge in a sea of yellow, making headlines in The Guardian, but we are glad to be back connecting the community again,” said Ms Jenkinson.
With the Diamond Creek Trail extending to Hurstbridge, there are now even more safe and family-friendly ways to visit the Hurstbridge Wattle Festival in 2023.
There is limited parking in Hurstbridge.
For a great festival experience, the committee encourages anyone looking to attend to run, walk or ride the Diamond Creek Trail in August, or catch one of the free festival busses from Mernda Station or Diamond Creek Station.
The full timetable will be published on our website. Of course, those who wish to arrive in style can reserve a seat on the iconic Festival Steam Train, but seating is limited. Hurstbridge Wattle Festival is proudly supported by the Victorian Government, Nillumbik Shire Council, and Bendigo Bank.
Further information about the festival and the full program can be found at: www.wattlefestival.org.au/2023-festival-program.