The Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest will make a fiery return to The Apple Shed this July (Tasmania)

  • Chris Singh
  • June 28, 2016
  • Comments Off on The Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest will make a fiery return to The Apple Shed this July (Tasmania)

Backed by Dark MOFO, Events Tasmania and the Huon Valley Council, the annual Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest will be returning to the apple valley for a three-day pagan inspired celebration of the long-standing and renowned apple history of the region. Home of the largest organic apple orchard in Australia, Huon Valley’s The Apple Shed will be the centre of this quirky celebration, bringing in bonfires, traditional story telling, workshops, street theatre, arts and crafts, and some of the finest local food and beverage producers across Tasmania.

This is the third year the Mid-Winter Fest has run, put on by Willie Smith’s Cider with a similar aesthetic to Hobart’s now famous Dark MOFO. The festival draws on the traditions from the cider producing regions of south-west England and aims to provide guests with a fiery alternative for some of the coldest nights of the year.

The first night, Friday 15th July, kicks off with “Welcome @ Burning Man”, which is the burning of a 6-metre high effigy to mark the official opening of the festival, welcoming attendees to three nights of warmth, fun, and generous eating and drinking. The central event takes place the next night on the Saturday with a salute to the traditional ‘twelfth night’ festivals, where the ancient ‘wassail’ ritual was intended to wake up the dormant apple trees, scare away evil spirits, and symbolise an abundant cider apple harvest for the coming season. This event will bring in The Australian Morris Dancers – which is a collection of over 40 Morris dancers – to represent different groups from across the country, coming together for a fireside celebration that is surrounded by a packed 2016 program featuring live folk music along with post and prog-rock, all providing the soundtrack to a hungry scene of 10 foot tall bonfires and performances welcoming punters into a world of freaks, potion peddlers, and laughing clowns (the street theatre show Wolfzingers Cider Show Alley by Annie LeeJackie Kerin has also been tapped to share tales of traditions from all over the world, inviting others to take the stage to compete in the Huon Valley Mid Winter Festival Slam to win The Huon Valley Storytelling Cup.

The final day of the festival, Sunday 17th July, will be focusing on family-oriented fun with children’s activities, costumes prizes, and more local live music. Those wrapped in their finest pagan costumes will be in the running to wine a share of $2,500.

Throughout the three days there will be a range of local produce and beverage offerings from stalls like Black Box Kitchen, offering their warm cheesy delights, Tasman Quartermasters, sizzling up apple wood smoked 55 hour beef, and Fat Pig Van from local gourmet farmer, Matthew Evans. Drinks will be provided by an equally packed program of fine beverage producers including Willie Smith’s Organic Cider and two of Tassie’s finest Whisky distilleries, Lark and Overeem.

Tickets for the 2016 Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest are on sale now. To view the full program or to purchase tickets ($10-$35) visit www.huonvalleymidwinterfest.com.au. The festival will run from 15th to 17th July 2016, a welcome return seeing as the event injected an estimated $600k into the local economy last year. Keep up to date via their Facebook.

Image Source: Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest

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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.