Ahhh the Huon Valley in Tasmania, sorry I might have drifted off there a second. I was dreaming of apples, cider, orchards and winter – yep winter is amazing in Tasmania and the Willie Smith’s Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival is just one reason. This other-worldly event combines great food (and of course cider), bonfires, stories, music and traditional pagan outfits to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest.
“It’s based around the ancient pagan ritual of bringing good luck for the upcoming harvest in the hope of a great crop,” said Festival Director Sam Reid.
“Aside from great local food, wine, and of course cider, the festival boasts mesmerising folk music, dancing, storytelling, bonfires and traditional pagan outfits.” Reid said.
- 2017 saw 15,000 festival goers with over 18,000 people expected to celebrate this years rituals.
- Traditional outfits involve “tatters”, painted faces and top hats, the tradition dates back to 1500’s
- Friday night features Welcome Ceremony uniting Aboriginal traditions with contemporary innovations.
- Burning of 15 metre tall effigy will release the negative energy and make way for the new.
- Saturday’s giant bonfire also sees the traditional “wassail” to awaken the cider apple trees, scare away evil spirits and ensure a good harvest next Autumn.
- MAC01 Huon Valley Storytellers Cup – highlighting the importance of storytelling in the community. “Wayfinder” mobile storytelling studio will be recording festivalgoer’s stories.
- Sunday is Family Day. Kids entertainment, kids “wassail”, maypole dancing and secret kids hideout (shhh, don’t tell the grown ups).
- 1,000+ interstate visitors are expected and the festival will inject more than $1M into the local economy
“It has transformed the Huon Valley at a traditionally quiet time. We didn’t expect it to become so popular when we first started, it’s nice to know people appreciate the efforts of our team. It’s also a huge dose of quirky that has captured the hearts and minds of visitors from everywhere” Said Mr Reid.
Willie Smith’s Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival is held annually.
Media Contacts: Event Date:
Sam Reid – Festival Director Friday 13th July to Sunday 15th July
Krystal Cox – Festival Manager
0400 974 975
Talent available for interview prior to and during event
Vox pops available during event
High res imagery available on request