Hills Gazette - - FESTIVAL -

SIT­TING on the banks of the beau­ti­ful Avon River is the charming and his­toric Wheat­belt town of York.

About a 90-minute drive from Perth, it of­fers an ideal day-out des­ti­na­tion for fam­i­lies look­ing for some­thing fun and unique.

There has never been a bet­ter time to visit WA’s old­est in­land town­ship than Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber, with the 2018 York Fes­ti­val re­turn­ing for an­other – and even big­ger – year.

The pro­gram has about 65 events, in­clud­ing gi­ant scrab­ble, hu­man foos­ball, the run­ning of the lambs (a cos­tumed ninja war­riorstyle ob­sta­cle course), fi­bre weav­ing work­shops, kids’ video booths, a maker’s mar­ket and a Spare Parts Pup­pet Theatre show.

But the highlight of the event is the Ja­panese Wara Art (rice straw) sculp­tures.

Ja­panese artist Akira Moriya will over­see the con­struc­tion.

“The sculp­tures will all be Aus­tralian en­dan­gered fauna: there will be three and it will take five weeks to make them,” event founder Jenny Gar­roun said.

“The re­ally great thing about this is that we want peo­ple to be part of mak­ing them; you don’t have to be an artist or have worked with straw be­fore. This is your chance to try some­thing new, meet peo­ple and be part of some­thing re­ally spe­cial.”

Gar­roun founded the fes­ti­val in 2014 as a sin­gle weekend arts and craft mar­ket.

“When you come into York there is an in­for­ma­tion bay that says ‘York is Aus­tralia’s fes­ti­val town’ and it’s very out­dated and no longer was the place in 2014, as there wasn’t a lot go­ing on in the town – it was in a bit of a de­pressed state,” she said.

Gar­roun en­cour­aged peo­ple to spend the night in York dur­ing the fes­ti­val, as many mu­si­cal

acts were at night.

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