Summer is the best, especially in the West. This year, I spent the majority of summer at home and I found our days were filled with all the west has to offer. We are so close to all the action. Day trips to Indented Head, Queenscliff and Barwon Heads; boat watching down at Williamstown; food trucks and ace picnics in Yarraville Gardens; bike rides along the beach or through new parks; and two awesome festivals: So Frenchy So Chic at Werribee Park and Portarlington Mussel Festival, both within a short drive from our suburb.
And it’s festival season in the inner west with Lunar New Year on our doorstep and my favourite local event, the Yarraville Festival, is happening this month.
Celebrating its 35th year, Yarraville Festival on Sunday 7 February is certainly an event to make the journey to (highly recommend by bike, train or walking). The Village shuts off its streets to cars, making way for stall vendors selling everything from puppets to terrariums, paella to choc ripple donuts.
For the kids, Fels Park off Simpson Street is filled with storytime shows, petting zoos and performers all ready to put a smile on your kid’s face.
But I can’t get past the scents coming from the street. As a local, I can smell the aromas of the street stalls from my house from early morning, chargrilling their goodies, toasting up some kind of yummy seed to put into some kind of yummy bread.
Alongside the sweet smell of delicious food you can hear the super sound of bands warming up ready to play to the crowds. This year there are seven stages showcasing the best of the community including my favourite, the Yarraville Mouth Organ Band (you need to see these guys and Instagram the hell out of this gig) and Middle Aged Weirdo. There’s some fresh talent to discover as well including local school bands and rad up and comers on the Freeza stage (my pick is Shewolf – awesome new talent featuring 17 year old triplet sisters and their best buddy).
Over 18? Ace. Collect a beer from Dawsons Cellars and enjoy the main stage with your cold amber liquid. You might even see me busting out some moves in my Mom Jeans with my two-year-old.
Have a two year old? Get a front row seat at the hottest fashion parade in the west. The Dog Parade is a highlight every year with pooches dressed in their finest gear from diamante collars to Buzz Lightyear ensembles. It’s fun – with or without a two year old. Just make sure you share the love on social media to make sure your eastern suburbs buddies come over for the action next year.
The 2016 Yarraville Festival is set to be the biggest yet. Set yourself up for a day of awesomeness. Pack some sunscreen and water and text your pals. Find out more at http://www.yarravillefestival.com.au
Need to pump yourself up for Yarraville Festival? Here’s my top five songs for this summer.
1. April Sun in Cuba – Dragon
2. Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now – Starship
3. Daniel – Elton John
4. Friday on my Mind – Easy Beats
5. Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon – The Kinks
Would love to know yours. See you at the Festival!
All of these fabulous photos are by the super talented Paul Large, fellow local Yarravillian.
This article first appeared in my column Spun Webb in the February issue of The Westsider.