As the colder weather takes a hold, one Lower South West town has turned itself into a winter wonderland with activities and events for everyone to enjoy. After a year-long hiatus due to COVID-19, Bridgetown’s Fridgetown Fest is back embracing and celebrating the winter cold. From June through to August the region is alive with winter themed arts, music and food, providing a range of activities for locals and tourists. Anyone travelling through the town at this time can also see the famous blue lights strung across local businesses, casting the main strip in a wintery blue glow. Hosted and organised by the Bridgetown Greenbushes Business and Tourism Association, the annual event is also commonly referred to as Puzzletown for its array of puzzle and jigsaw activities around town. From quiz and puzzle trails, geocaching, twist n’ turn Rubik’s cubs masters, family puzzle races and more, the town has come alive with activities despite the scaled back 2021 event. This weekend saw a handful of events such as a lively street music performance by the bright and colourful Ukeladies, who performed covers of popular songs down the main street of Bridgetown. The trio brought sunshine to the otherwise wet region, donning rainbow ponchos and encouraging locals to dance their concerns away. Families, friends and children were also treated to laser tag at the Bridgetown Leisure Centre, while food-lovers put their taste buds to the test with a blind dinner at Bridgetown Pottery-Restaurant. The festival has also kicked off its Puzzle Town event this month, which showcases incredible puzzles and activities in the Brierley Jigsaw Gallery, the only public jigsaw gallery in the Southern Hemisphere. The second week of the school holidays and ending of the Perth and Peel COVID-19 restrictions hopes to see the festival action bolster with tourists expected to trickle in to round out their holiday fun. Accommodation venues are readying their cosy wood fires and fluffing their blankets ready for visitors, while restaurants, cafes, pubs, wineries and breweries are again serving hearty fares, thirst quenching brews and their finest cellar drops. For the adrenaline junkies and adventures heroes the region’s award winning mountain bike trials are ready and the iconic Bibbulmun Track waiting to be explored. On August 11, the festival will hold its prestigious Banquet on a Bridge event, which sees guests treated to a special lunch on top of the Blackwood River. This year will look a little different for fans of the annual event, with individual tables laid out rather than the traditional long table lunch to accommodate pandemic restrictions. Although the event was reduced in terms of size this year, it sold out within days of tickets being released. In 2019, the last time the event was held, more than 170 people were whisked away to the secret location. Money raised from the event will go to a charity of the chef’s choice with the last event cashing in $2000 towards Saving Animals From Euthanasia.