Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Birchip braces for street art festival

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Blake Lee, The Buloke Times

In just 15 days’ time, Birchip’s main street will become a vibrant, action packed site for locals and tourists alike as the community comes together to host the Mali Heart Street Art Festival. 

The March long weekend is set to be an eventful one for Birchip, with travellers from all across the state choosing to spend their weekend in the area to enjoy the hospitality and activities on offer with the locals.

The action kicks off on Saturday March 9, at 10 a.m., when the Mali Heart Street Art festival officially commences. 

Busker Grim Faulkner will be heard by shoppers strolling through Cumming Avenue exploring the shops and the market stalls between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.. The Buloke Collectable Car Club members will also be in Cumming Avenue showing off their extensive collection of vintage and collectable cars.  

Stalls for All

From acrylics and resin to earrings and framed photos, homemade sauces and relishes to soaps and candles and so much more, there really is a market stall for everyone!

Plus, local businesses will be open throughout the morning and into the afternoon for all of your food and beverage needs, including the brand-new Olive Joy Licensed Café, as well as clothing stores Sarë and Kawaii Kids.

A photo exhibition from the Lions Club will take place in the Hall along with a Patchwork Quilt exhibition with over one hundred quilts made by the best patchworkers in the region.  Whilst viewing these displays, attendees will be able to enjoy morning tea from the Wirrim CWA members.

Mali Fest

From the main street, locals and visitors, children and families, young people, grandparents and their friends will be able to venture over to Birchip Memorial Park to enjoy an afternoon of live music and entertainment.

Laser tag, a bungee run, rock-climbing wall and jumping castle are all on offer in the Birchip Park as part of Mali Fest, beginning from 10:30 a.m.. Take in the sights from above on the rock-climbing wall, compete against your friend on the bungee run, or get a group together and test out your laser tag skills!

From midday, a Battle of the Bands competition will take place, followed by headline artist Taylor Henderson from 1 to 3 p.m..

Taylor Henderson has appeared on Australia’s Got Talent, the X Factor, performed at the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, various AFL finals, and most recently has toured around Australia. 

He’ll provide a lively soundtrack throughout the afternoon as the rides continue and the picnic rugs roll out.

There are already some exciting entries in the Battle of the Bands, including local performers Taina and Talei Brooks. Despite the name, the Battle of the Bands is open to all performers, including soloists, performers, duets or musicians, and there’s still time to enter.

There are great prizes to be won in the  Battle of the Bands with $500 for first place, and $250 for second place. Each act receives $50 for entering, so if you know of anyone coming up to the region with talent they’d like to showcase, encourage them to enter. They can head to Birchip Page on Facebook or email manager@birchipnh.com.au for entry forms.

Baked potatoes will be on offer for lunch, as will various items from Olive Joy, Sharp’s Bakery and the Birchip Café. The Birchip P-12 Cambodia students will be offering popcorn, fairy floss, drinks and ice cream for a sweet treat to help fund their trip.

Headspace will be in attendance running workshops and activities and “Young Expressions” will have a sensory tent which will include play dough, rainbow rice, a dry sensory bin, watercolour and still life painting and a craft table.

Mali Fest, funded by FRRR, FReeZA and the Birchip Neighbourhood House LDAT program is a unique opportunity for people in the Mallee and surrounding areas to experience live music and support local businesses and hospitality.

Stay for the Weekend

On Sunday, March 10, the annual Mallee Bull Cup Day is back with a punters club, bookmakers, tote facilities, fashions on the field and live music.

A great day out is set to be had by all in attendance with lots of entertainment, horse racing, catching up with family and friends, and having fun.

Tchum Lake sites are going fast with many campers already making their online bookings. Visitors will enjoy the incredible Mallee sunsets and sunrises, as well as water activities and great facilities.

Birchip really is the place to be this March long weekend with a weekend of family fun and entertainment. Spread the word and celebrate the splendour of Birchip!

The Buloke Times 23 February 2024

This article appeared in The Buloke Times, 23 February 2024.

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