AS the first area settled by the Swan River Colonists in 1829, Fremantle has a long, sometimes wonderful, sometimes sordid history.
While parts of this history are largely forgotten by many, once a year it is celebrated with gusto in the Fremantle Heritage Festival.
This year’s festival uses music, lectures, tours, arts and in true Fremantle fashion, a bit of this and a bit of that to celebrate all the good and not-so-good bits of local heritage.
City of Fremantle festival co-ordinator Alex Marshall said this year’s event had grown in size and quality, with more than 90 events on the program.
“We are looking at all aspects of Fremantle’s history and social heritage, and there are some really fantastic and interesting events that will appeal to people who don’t know they are interested in heritage,” he said.
“Heritage is integral to Fremantle and its people and it is at the heart and soul of the City.
“It’s a great festival with lots to see and do, it is also a great way to find something different about Fremantle and just another excuse to come and relax in the most interesting place in the metro area.”
Among the events in this year’s bumper program is Sandra McKendrick’s, aka Guerrilla Granny, retro and vintage shopping tours.
Complete with a refurbished 1960s bus, Guerrilla Granny will take passengers to her favourite local haunts, including Second Empire Antiques, Hey Joe Retro and Old Values, to pick up a unique bargain or two.
She said the tour would be a wonderfully hilarious inclusion into the festival.
“Guerrilla Granny is the most inspirational woman-on-wheels you could ever wish to meet,” she said.
“This multi-talented chameleon can be found sketching portraits, playing (and cheating) at Scrabble and if you catch her in a more spirited mood she can be cajoled into tea-bag reading with a magical, mystical edge.
“It will be the most wonderful opportunity to be with a group of people on an original ‘60s bus, to be guided to places that are dear to my heart.
“You’d be mad to miss out.”
The Fremantle Heritage Festival is on from May 27 to June 6.