March 14, 2024

Deans Marsh Festival this weekend

The annual Deans Marsh Festival is set to return this weekend, bringing visitors to the small town to celebrate both the local community and Otway hinterland.

The event will be held this Sunday, March 17 between 10am-4pm at the Deans Marsh Memorial Reserve on Pennyroyal Valley Road.

Now in its 26th year, the festival has evolved a great deal since its inception, transitioning from a pioneer’s festival into the event filled with country games, entertainment and fun, it is today.

Deans Marsh Cottage co-ordinator and festival co-organiser Caroline Shelbourne said the event is the town’s biggest day of year, acting as both a fundraiser for its community groups and an opportunity to share in community spirit with visitors.

“It’s the biggest fundraiser day for our small community,” she said.

“[It brings] people out from beyond our small town and gives them a great time and helps to reinvest back into our town.

“It’s just a really great opportunity for everyone to come together and have a great day out.”

A celebration of local food and wine, the festival will feature more than 50 markets stalls showcasing the best of the region’s growers and makers.

Several stalls will also celebrate ‘lost trades’, including weavers, potters and a whistler.

Live music will play all day and the line-up includes Lorne trio Ciao Bella fresh off their Foot in the Door competition win at the Queenscliff Music Festival last year.

There will also be a wide variety of family-friendly activities including face painting, giant slides, pony rides and HiWire shows with workshops for kids to practice balancing on a wire themselves.

The festival also has designated sensory-friendly spaces and activities, including silent origami making and a quiet zone.

Throughout the day, the festival will feature iconic events such as the Deans Marsh Dog High Jump, the Deans Marsh Gift, an annual running race, a bird calling competition and a Sheaf Toss competition.

For the first time in five years, the Wood Chop competition will also return.

“It’s a beautiful location on the edge of the Otways,” Ms Shelbourne said.

“We’ve got a lovely atmosphere; it’s very welcoming, community-based and relaxed, so everyone will have a great day.”

A gold coin on entry to the festival will be donated to the Deans Marsh CFA.

For more information on the Deans Marsh Festival, head here.

Read full Surf Coast Times Story here.

Photo credit: Big and small dogs will face off in the Dog Jump competition on the day.

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