Toodyay to host Moondyne Festival

30 years: The Toodyay streetscape.
30 years: The Toodyay streetscape.
Event: A hive of activity at the Moondyne Festival.

Event: A hive of activity at the Moondyne Festival.

Singing: The choir find voice.

Singing: The choir find voice.

THE town of Toodyay will step back in time to celebrate the annual Moondyne Festival, bringing the infamous Avon Valley bushranger Moondyne Joe and his escapades to life.

Street theatre will have Joe and his gang wreaking havoc throughout the town.

Joe may be found flaunting with the floozies, defying the tedious temperance ladies whilst trying to evade the local constabulary, intent on locking him up and throwing away the key.

The festival celebrates Toodyay's colonial past and the town is transformed into a lively festival of community fun and entertainment.

Locals dress in 19th century costume for a colourful procession down the main street, headed by the musket-firing rifle and artillery regiment 1860 with the boisterous entourage of colonial floozies yelling "Let Joe go!"

Attractions include a variety of stalls, displays, performances and demonstrations.

Arts Toodyay present their regular art exhibition in the CWA Hall, while the Irish and Highland Dancers and Toodyay Community Singers provide entertainment along the main street.

There will be vintage cars and bicycles on display and visitors can experience how to send and receive Morse code telegrams with the Morscecodians Society, investigate with the Sherlock Holmes Society of WA, admire the displays of the Hand Tool Preservation Society of WA and Trachmach (restored farm machinery as well as bygone household items).

Visiting the antique and collectors fair is also a must.

The festival flows through the main town site to the beautiful Duidgee Park resting on the banks of the Avon River which will be filled with specialty craft and tantalizing food stalls.

Festivities include the log chop, stilt walkers, Clydsedale cart rides, shearing, blacksmithing, cleavage and moustache competitions, woodturning, Kalamunda Pipe Band and the ever popular Swaggie Camp.

Enjoy bush poetry and Moondyne Joe laments in the courtyard of the Newcastle Gaol throughout the day.

Families will also be delighted joining in the circus school children's games in the park and perhaps have a ride on the Toodyay Miniature Railway, Lil Louie and the Toodyay Lions "Wiggly Worm".

There will be cool BMX bike demonstrations and workshops, face painting, balloon twisting and the delightful baby animal petting zoo.

While at the festival don't forget to check out the Old Newcastle Gaol Museum - the gaol that Moondyne Joe did not escape from.

That happened from the convict depot located nearby.

But don't worry, there is a fantastic display on the real story of Moondyne Joe along with lots of other displays, including the award winning interpretation of the timber lined cell.

A team of Clydesdale horses will be bringing people up to the gaol on the back of a wagon throughout the day from Duidgee Park at the end of the main street.

Bush poet Bill Gordon will be popping in and the kids can dress up as convicts or settlers - heaps of opportunities for great photos.

Join in the fun at this wonderful festival for the whole family of all ages and interests.