2019 Willie Smith’s Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival moving to the heart of the Valley
After bursting at the seams in 2018, the Willie Smith’s Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival will move to the iconic Ranelagh Showgrounds this year.
With over 18,000 festivalgoers attending Willie Smith’s pagan festival last winter, the Apple Shed and surrounding paddocks were filled to the brim.
Festival Director and Co-Owner of Willie Smith’s Cider. Sam Reid says, “We’re excited by the opportunities this move creates – particularly greater engagement with the local community at this amazing space.’
‘We’re super proud of where the festival has come from; we had a few thousand people at our inaugural event, and now we attract tens of thousands of people from around Australia, all dressed up to embrace our festival of folklore, fire and feasting in the dead of winter.’
‘Our new site, just five minutes down the road from the Apple Shed, opens up a stack of possibilities – there’ll be so much for festivalgoers to discover and explore. And of course, our massive bonfire and legendary 13m burning man ‘Big Willie’ will be back and ready to burn!” Sam continued.
The heart of the festival is the wassail – now the largest wassail in the world – an old-world tradition led by Morris Dancers to wake up dormant apple trees and bring on a bumper crop. Other highlights include the annual burning man ‘Big Willie’ and massive bonfire
Huon Valley Mayor, Bec Enders said “We’re thrilled to be able to support the continued growth of Willie Smith’s Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival through the provision of the Ranelagh Recreation Grounds. The event has quickly captured the imagination of the community and attracted visitors from around Australia to the region in a traditionally slow period.’
‘I look forward to see how each of the four festivals, The Taste of the Huon, the Huon Show, the Small Farms Expo and now the Mid-Winter Festival, which are now based at the showgrounds, can work together to continue to improve the visitor experience at the grounds” continued Ms Enders.
Festival organisers are keen to hear from local businesses and tourism operators who have great ideas to bring to the new space. Interested parties can contact the team via their website.
The Willie Smith’s Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival returns from 12-14 July, 2019.