27 July, 2023

Festival of fun at Irvinebank

ORGANISERS of next weekend’s Irvinebank Festival are hoping for an influx of visitors, as they promise to deliver a fun-filled two days of music and family activities.

By Chelsea Ashmeade

Nichola Ferguson entertaining the crowd at last year’s Irvinebank Festival.
Nichola Ferguson entertaining the crowd at last year’s Irvinebank Festival.

“It’s going to be a fun and exciting weekend for families, campers and day visitors,” organiser Diane Delaney said. With a full weekend of activities planned in the historic town, it all kicks off on Friday night with a welcome barbecue. On Saturday, visitors can meander through market stalls and take part in a tug-o-war competition during the afternoon. 

Ms Delaney said the fun didn’t stop there with plenty of sight-seeing to do around the town, the museum will be open and the historical tramway, too. With free camping, patrons can enjoy a full evening’s entertainment at the hall with rock trio Snakeoyl and 8 Ball Aitken performing. There’ll also be a fashion show and a local will shave their head for a cure, raising money for the Leukaemia Foundation. “They will be working together and giving us a great night of music. It will be a really, really great night,” Ms Delaney said.

For those who stay the night, they will be able to enjoy a scrumptious recovery breakfast on Sunday morning with a full spread on offer. “The whole weekend is full of lots and lots of exciting things for the families,” she said. “It will be fun, there will be lots of market stalls, blacksmithing and tug-o-war.”
Organisers are looking for teams to join in the tug-o-war competition, so be sure to get along and nominate a team.

At just $5 per person, tug-o-war teams can include children and be a maximum of eight competitors. 
To be held on August 5-6, both days will include plenty of activities for all but it is a cash only event. 
Visitors can camp along the creek bed at Bill Newburn Park, under the mango trees or at other locations throughout the town. The organisers are part of the Irvinebank School of Arts and Progress Association which looks after five heritage buildings and a number of old cottages in town. 

“It’s really, really important to us this weekend. Our fundraising activities go straight back into restoring the buildings of Irvinebank for visitors to enjoy,” Ms Delaney said.
“There’s so much happening in town.” Formerly known as John Moffat Weekend, according to Ms Delaney, it’s an event that’s been running for many years.

It wasn’t until Covid that it stopped, but it’s back and has been reinvented. 
“Everyone remembers it as the John Moffat weekend. It was always remembered very, very lovingly.”
Tickets for the Saturday night’s event (and drink tickets) will be available during the day from a stand in the town, but Ms Delaney reminds patrons it is strictly cash only.


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