Wassail Away! Six Tips for the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival

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Grab your clankiest pots and pans and warm up the old vocal cords – the apple isle needs your assistance! This weekend, wake up winter at the colourful Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest (Friday 14 – Sunday 16 July). Join in the ages-old tradition of wassailing and help scare the nasties out of the orchard’s cider trees, ensuring a bumper autumn crop! Head to Willie Smith’s Apple Shed for three days of feasting, music, fire and pagan inspired fun. Here are our tips for making the most of this amazing festival.

1. Catch the bus

Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, the home of the festival, is located at Grove, a 30 minute drive south of Hobart. While there is parking available, catching the bus is an easy way to get to and return safely from the festival after all the feasting and cider tasting. The Hobart bus also makes a pick up at Kingston, and there’s another bus service running from Cygnet. At $10 per ticket, safe passage is a bargain! There will also be free shuttle buses running to the festival from the Ranelagh Village Green and Skinner Drive, Huonville.
For tickets and times, see: Bus information

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2. Avoid tight clothing

You’ll need the ability to let your belt out, with an absolute smorgasbord of delicious food and drink celebrating Tasmanian producers. This year’s stallholders include Munchies Street Food, Coal River Farm, Big Henry’s Food Truck, Coburg & Co, Ramonas, Wood Firey Red Head, Cheese Louise, Alfred Gough Pies, Church Hill Brewing, Beautiful Isle Wines, Deep End Farm, Willie Smith’s Cider, Fat Pig Farm, Spotty Dog American BBQ, Home Hill Winery, Lady Hester, Mountain Pepper Pizza, Saffron Hearth, Quartermasters Arms, The Cake Kombi, Two Bud Spur, Villino Coffee, and Orlando Plenty.
For more info, see: Food & Drink

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3. Come in costume

Let your imagination run wild and put together an amazing costume! You might like to draw inspiration from pagan traditions, the earth and all its elements, or the changing seasons. Think greenery, sticks, feathers, fur and leather, and face paint. Oh, and there are prizes up for grabs! (Bonus tip: stick some feathers and branches on the kids for a little something something, as all children who come in costume will receive a small prize for participating.)
For more info, see: Costumes & Prizes

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4. Let the music take you

The festival program is jam packed with talented Australian musicians! Don’t miss Frank Yamma, one of Australia’s most important Indigenous songwriters, and his spine-tingling songs about alcohol abuse, cultural degradation, respect for the old law and the importance of country. Have a rockin’ good time with six piece Celtic punk band The Ramshackle Army. High energy Folk/Bluegrass band The Scrims will have you up and jiggin’ around, but listen out for the dark under tone in their upbeat, quirky songs.
For the full musical program, see: Music

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5. Take the kids on Sunday

Family, isn’t it about time? Sunday 16 July is a whole day dedicated to good, wholesome family fun! There will be storytelling, live music, face painting, workshops and a fancy dress competition. This will be a #SundayFunday for sure.
For more info, see: Family Fun Day

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6. Extend your weekend in the Southern Trove

Why not keep the good times rolling and spend some extra time further exploring? The region has a wealth of gems to discover, with the Southern Trove encompassing the Huon Valley, Far South Tasmania, Bruny Island and the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Go for a scenic drive to the very end of the road (Cockle Creek), explore Hastings Caves, spend a day or two on beautiful Bruny Island, and eat and drink your way back up to Hobart through the farms, cheeseries, wineries, and restaurants of the Channel.
For more info, see: Southern Trove | Southern Trove Tasmania

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