The Walcha Mountain Festival is on again, and we are gearing up for another fantastic, fun weekend on October 21st & 22nd. The event has only become stronger since moving to the new location for the Sunday festivities, in the gardens and grounds of Langford homestead. Langford is ideally suited to festival style events, offering the perfect backdrop and atmospheric surrounds.
A truly gorgeous place to kick back, listen to live music and enjoy the other entertainment under the shade of a tree with a bite to eat and a glass of local wine or craft beer in hand. Susie Crawford tells us more …
A few years ago The Walcha Mountain Festival moved to its current location, in the grounds of historic Langford House. How has this affected the success of the festival?
The generosity of Beverly and Barry Marshall, opening up their home and garden to us, has had an immensely positive effect on the Walcha Mountain Festival. Langford is an imposing Edwardian two storey home which causes much intrigue from inquisitive passers-by; it is a natural lure. The festival has gone from strength to strength in the past three years since being held there. Guided tours of the house are conducted hourly at the festival, the owners are knowledgeable on the history of the building, its previous owners and the surrounding land, so you’re guaranteed an informative and enjoyable tour – with the odd story of the original owners’ lifestyles of extravagance popping up! Tours can be booked in advance if you want a specific time or have a large group who want to do a tour.
Do any aspects of the Walcha Mountain Festival have a large continued following, and why do you think this is?
The Quilt Exhibition has a bit of a cult following, drawing people in from far and wide! The Walcha Quilters group do a fabulous job of displaying their quilts in the Langford Woolshed, hanging them in aisles from the rustic rafters, creating a colourful patchwork maze. The quilters have made a quilt for the raffle, have morning tea on offer and are having an opening night with wine and nibbles on the Friday night from 6 – 9pm. All proceeds go to the local Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
The remote control model ships, made to scale with amazingly realistic graphic detail, also attract great interest. They are motored around the Langford Lake by their operators. I’m not sure who has more fun, the spectators or operators!
I think these two things attract a heavy following as they require so much attention to detail, skill and patience – something we all long to have. You can’t help but admire the workmanship involved in these crafts.
Is anything new and exciting happening at this year’s festival?
Previously we’ve had vintage cars and motorcycles on show at the festival; however, this year Armidale are hosting The Classic and Specialist Car Club of Northern NSW – Great Eastland Rally, and they are bringing their cars to the Walcha Mountain Festival on Sunday. We are expecting 80 – 100 rare and unique cars, which will be quite spectacular.
We are also hosting a regional premiere of Hester Fraser’s latest GOLDHEIST album, REALM, with the initial launch at the Sydney Opera House in September; we are honoured to have been approached by Hester to host this regional premiere.
What about entertainment on Sunday at Langford?
For the first few hours, Hester Fraser‘s GOLDHEIST will play a premiere concert for their album, REALM. GOLDHEIST employs a unique blend of folk, pop and classical music.
Following this performance, we are excited to have popular band The BopCatz playing for the remainder of the day. The BopCatz are a rockabilly blues band from Armidale, described as – a dash of swamp gothic, mud-country blues and voodoo groove!
What a lovely way to spend a Sunday – listening to a few bands in a beautiful garden, with delicious food and a craft beer from New England Brewing Co. or boutique wines from Whyworry.
The Australian Wool Fashion Awards (AWFA) are also presenting two fashion parades, showcasing their wonderfully designed woollen fashions. The AWFA parade always delivers unique and creative garments.
There are market and food stalls, some new and some repeat stalls who have enjoyed previous years at the festival. Free kids’ activities are also on offer: an awesome climbing wall, jumping castle, face painting, lolly scatter, bush croquet and more.
Now down to business … The bike riders. What are they up to this year?
As part of the Walcha Mountain Festival we hold two separate bike rides: the Road Ride event on Saturday, and Mountain Bike event on Sunday, supporting the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. Both of these events have had changes made this year.
Saturday, October 21st brings the PKF Walcha Road Ride Challenge, a 75 km loop through picturesque countryside and surrounding villages. Due to a newly sealed section of road we have also been able to introduce a slightly shorter 56 km Challenge … The PKF Walcha Road Ride “Schmallenge” … There was always going to be naming consequences for the introduced softer option!
Sunday, October 22nd brings Carlo’s IGA Captains Ride, supporting the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. This format is completely different to the past few years. PREVIOUSLY the mountain bikers had to do loops of a fairly short but treacherously steep route – THIS YEAR, the Captains Ride will take you out and about on trails around Walcha, escorted by Westpac Rescue Helicopter staff. Morning tea will be supplied, and the riders will be back in time for lunch at Langford. Their non-participating family members can enjoy the festival whilst waiting for their return.
A fabulous weekend of events and activities for the whole family at this year’s Walcha Mountain Festival. More info at www.walchamountainfestival.org or phone 6774 2460.