Significant changes to Warrandyte Festival

by Claire Harrison
4th September 2023

AS ANNOUNCED on social media in August, the Warrandyte Festival is moving in 2024.
Next year, celebrations will take place in April instead of March, and a format change will see the event take place on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20 only.
Most of your usual favourites will be back, with some enjoying a new time of day or location.
Activities will start at 5pm on Friday.
Enjoy the Billy Cart Derby under lights, kids’ activities, Silent Disco, and lots of food options.
From 7pm, the Warrandyte Film Feast will feature live musicians, short films, and fabulous food.
The Warrandyte Donvale Rotary Art Show has also indicated it will follow the Festival, with 2024 taking place on April 19,20 and 21.
On Saturday, enjoy community stalls, the Dodgeball Comp, Open Mic, Silent Disco, Duck Race, Battle of the Bands, Pet Parade, and much more. As always, there will be lots of homemade food, market stalls, and live music until 10pm.
Festival President Dwayne Schuyler spoke about the decision to change the date and format.

“After months of careful consideration, the Warrandyte Festival Committee have chosen to host a two-day celebration in April.
As locals would know, we all had a hard couple of years.
The Festival Committee worked tirelessly over COVID-19 to have the right protocols to safely run the event, only to have it cancelled two years running.
This took a huge toll on our volunteers and finances.
We’ve also had a few individual Festival days cancelled over recent years, including in March 2023, due to the Fire Danger Rating.
It was absolutely necessary but also heartbreaking for the community and the volunteer organisers.
“It makes more sense to schedule the Festival slightly later in the year.
“We look forward to taking advantage of the autumnal atmosphere and mixing things up.

The most significant change to the program is the Street Parade, which has been relocated and reimagined.

“We won’t be closing off Yarra Street for an hour and a half in 2024, meaning less pressure on the bus lines and emergency services and more access to street parking.
“Instead, a walking Parade will see participants follow the river along the walking path, starting near Webb Street and ending in Stiggant Reserve.
“The reimagined parade will be a great opportunity to showcase the river.
“We can’t wait to see everyone dressed up and enjoying themselves,” said Mr Schuyler.

A complete program of activities and entertainment will be released in early 2024.
If you want to get involved, expressions of interest for food and market stalls will open in November or December, and other application forms will open in February 2024.
The Warrandyte Festival is run entirely by volunteers.
The Committee meets once a month and welcomes new members with new ideas.
Anyone interested in joining the committee should email:
“The Festival will always be a highlight in the Warrandyte calendar.
“We look forward to April when we will, once again, celebrate our wonderful town and showcase lots of talented locals,” said Mr Schuyler.

What do you think of the new-look festival, let the Diary know: