Fun and games at 2018 York Festival

Running of the lambs at York Festival.
Running of the lambs at York 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 warrior-style 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,” said event founder Jenny Garroun.

“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.”

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“When you come into York there is an information bay that says ‘York is Australia’s festival town’ and it’s very outdated and no longer was the place in 2014, as there wasn’t a lot going on in the town – it was in a bit of a depressed state.

“I thought: it has huge potential and should be doing better.”

Garroun encouraged people to spend the night in York during the festival, as many musical acts were at night and visit several times over the month to enjoy different activities.

Look out for the program in cafes next week.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: 2018 York Festival

When: September 8 – October 7

Where: Across York

Website: yorkfestival.com.au/about/