A 74-YEAR-OLD Ford truck that was used to collect wood and chicken manure on the Irymple Orchard in Roleystone will be the centrepiece attraction for this year’s Araluen tulip festival.
The truck, resembling Mater from Cars, hasn’t seen the light of day for a while after spending the past 45 years parked in a shed at the old orchard, which was built in 1894.
It was built in 1942 and was originally used by the army during World War II in Darwin before it was shipped down to Perth and obtained by the Bettenay family.
The truck has been loaned to the Araluen Botanic Park Foundation for the festival by the Bettenays, who have owned the orchard since 1901.
It was retired to the shed in 1971 after it got a flat tyre and was replaced by a tractor.
Araluen marketing officer Tenielle Doutre said the truck would sit in a bed of tulips in the centre of the park’s concourse area.
Its tray will be filled with an array of flowering plants.
“We’ll put a pallet in the back and put some beautiful spring bulbs in there,” Ms Doutre said.
“It won’t only be tulips, there will be lots of other springtime blooms.
“The truck will make a really nice feature for our festival.”
Meanwhile, the annual tulip planting is about to get under way with Araluen volunteers gearing up to plant 120,000 bulbs in 12 hours.
Ms Doutre said this year’s springtime theme was to have a journey through the park.
“We want to highlight different areas of the park this year,” she said.