Sunday, October 30, 2011

River Fest.

Yesterday was the first ever River Fest in our little town. The festival was organised by the committed and dedicated team from Transition Bellingen. Bellingen is a transition town meaning: it is a town that is part of a global transition network that aims to build resilience so local communities  can survive and even thrive in the face of global challenges like peak oil and Climate change. (source)  Not only was this a free event it was also alcohol free- I did like that about it- but it was so well organised. The sun shone and it was a glorious day. What festival would be complete without some face painting!

The river, which quite often floods, cuts the town in half and it is a great spot in Summer as the water is quite shallow on one side great for the little ones. The riverbank has recently been given a lot of love so the river and the bridge area is looking really lovely. Everyone kept saying why hasn't this been done before? Why hasn't there been a festival here! 

 The bridge linked the festival with the north side more like a kids area with jumping castles etc. 

And the South side had a stage with music all day and very late into the night. There was dancing with friends:
The local businesses all competed in a canoe race. There was a tent where story telling was on all day and lots workshops, like one to make a Krathrong. 
....and at  dusk Krathongs were floated into the water. 

 Naturally - in this town- that loves a Middle Eastern or African drum we were told to meet at the northside when we heard drums and gather with our laterns. ( Busy and I had made one earlier at the lantern making workshop) ready for a grand parade across the (closed to traffic) bridge. 

Busy took her job as a lantern holder very seriously as we danced across the bridge to the beats of the drums ever so carefully so her candle didn't go out. We saw so many friends lining the bridge who yelled and screamed and clapped at Busy and her lantern - it was so lovely. When we got to the end we turned around and saw what felt like the whole town ( population 2000 people) behind us. 

It was one of those wonderful community events that reminds me about what I love about living in a small vibrant town like this one. 
Way to go Bellingen. 


  1. That's such a great way to celebrate community.It looked like a really fun day.I've always thought my small town needs something like this.

  2. Wow! Looks like such a wonderful community event! You've just made my crush on Bellingen that bit bigger!

  3. you know you are breaking my heart don't you ?

  4. what a wonderful community event and fabulous sounding festival.
    I love the whole transition town movement. xo

  5. It looks like you guys had so much fun!! Busy looks like she was concentrating so much on the lantern carrying - and so proud!!xx

  6. That looks like it was so much fun! Fabulous lantern and cool face painting too!

  7. OH MY! Those photos are so lovely. Busy's painted face is pure gorgeousness. Beautiful. I so love the idea of drums, dancing and lanterns. Perfecto!

    What a stunning part of the world to live.


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