Cherries the stars, but there’s lots more
The region’s tourism, retail and hospitality industries will receive a boost this weekend as an estimated $2 million is pumped into the economy during the Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival.
The 16th annual event on Saturday will feature many changes this year, including spreading the festival further along Giblett Street and changing the Sunday Long Table Lunch to a Saturday night event.
Festival coordinator Rose Moyle said between 7000 and 8000 people were expected to attend, bringing a huge windfall to the community based on previous years.
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Many accommodation places in and around Manjimup, including Fonty’s Pool, have been booked for months in the lead up to the festival.
“Festivals like this are invaluable to the industry,” Fonty’s Pool owner Jeremy Beissel said.
“A lot of people come back year-to-year, it’s great for us and the town.
“People come for the event, have a great experience and it then puts it on the radar for other holidays and lets other people know about the region.”
Manjimup Gateway complex manager Georgina Tagliaferri said anything that brought people to the region was good for the hospitality industry.
Mrs Moyle said putting on the festival was a 12-month job for the dedicated committee.
“We have a strong committee but we’re always looking for new members to bring new ideas,” she said.
“With the experience of some of the long-serving committee members, we all complement one another.”
Mrs Moyle has been involved with the festival since it started and said it had been wonderful to see it grow from strength to strength.
“It’s great to see the community embrace the festival, it gives you the enthusiasm to carry on,” she said.
Highlights for this year’s event include the always-popular cherry pip-spitting competition, the parade, the Southern Belle fashion parade, the Tastes of the Genuinely Southern Forests Food Avenue and a record number of stallholders.
Brockman Street in Manjimup will be transformed to showcase more than 20 different food and wine stalls as part of the Tastes of the Genuinely Southern Forests Food Avenue, from jams, chutneys, olive oil, ice-cream, juices, wine, cider, marron, truffle, and of course the star of the weekend – fresh cherries.
Visitors will also be treated to cooking demonstrations by WA Food Ambassador Don Hancey, who is passionate about genuine fresh local produce.
“The Cherry Festival is a wonderful family-friendly event that celebrates our regional offerings across the whole of the community,” Southern Forrest Food Council general manager Laura Bolitho said.
“It’s a great opportunity for the food council to open our doors and share our region’s talented producers and genuinely great produce with the public.”
With a great line-up of activities, stalls and entertainment, the 16th annual Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival is a great day out for foodies, families, locals and out-of-towners to experience what the Southern Forests has on offer.
“We are genuinely excited to be involved and supporting another great Cherry Festival,” Southern Forrest Food Council chairman Bevan Eatts said.
“We encourage locals and visitors alike to wander down the Genuinely Southern Forests Food Avenue to taste and experience some of the wonderful produce our region has to offer.”
The Tastes of the Genuinely Southern Forests Food Avenue is open from 9am to 12pm on Saturday.
Visit http://www.cherryfestival.com.aufor more information.
3pm: Cup Cake competition judging by Don Hancey and Paula Benson at Deja vu Cafe.
5pm: Festive Fun Night concluding at 9pm.
6.30pm: Tastes of Manjimup – Two Little Blackbirds (pre book).
9am: Cherry Pip-Spitting heats – Manjimup Visitor Centre.
9.15am: Ricochet Circus – main stage.
10am: Parade through the town CBD.
10.25am: Official opening ceremony with WA Premier Mark McGowan.
10.20am: The Stirling Rangers – Giblett Stage.
10.30am: Crowning of Master and Miss Cherry Blossom.
10.40am: Globe Vista Cherry Pip-Spitting Competition finals main stage.
11am: WA Police Pipe Band.
11am-3pm: Log Chop events at Coronation Park.
11.20am: Troy Bennell Middar Dance Group – main stage.
11.30am: Gardening with Sabrina Hahn – Brockman Street.
11.40am: Marissa Mark – main stage.
12.10pm: The Stirling Rangers – main stage.
12.10pm: Troy Bennell Middar Dance Group – Giblett Street.
1pm: Competition presentations by Minister Alannah MacTiernan – People’s Choice and Show and Shine, Colouring In poster, Mascot, Decorated Show Windows and Photography competition.
1.10pm: Macedonian Dancers – main stage.
1.20pm: Southern Belle Fashion Parade.
2pm: Ricochet Circus – main stage.
2pm: Gardening with Sabrina Hahn – Brockman Street.
2.10pm: Macedonian Dancers – Giblett Street.
2.40pm: Wasamba – main stage.
3.10pm: Greg Butcher – main stage.
5.30pm: Long Table Cherry Soiree – Newtons Orchard (tickets are pre sold).
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