Arts festival fanfare

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Arts festival fanfare

The Penola Coonawarra Arts Festival filled the region with art, music and creativity on the weekend.

The opening night of the festival featured Victorian artist Isabel McKirdy being awarded the 2024 John Shaw Neilson Acquisitive Art Prize for her work ‘Blue Flower’.

Natania Hollingsworth was highly commended in the competition, with the Local Art Prize awarded to Dagny Strand.

Festival Friday was a welcome addition to the event’s line-up which saw visitors and locals gather in the Penola Town Square, with late night retail shopping, food carts and wine by members of the Coonawarra Vignerons Association.

Saturday’s events were well attended throughout the district with many art exhibitions, paint and sip experiences, fabric stencilling, life-drawing and jewellery workshops and even a ‘Cabernet and Crickets’ tasting event at Patrick.

The perennially popular Saturday night Shenanigans at the Coonawarra Hall was a sellout, with music lovers enjoying the sounds of Adam Page, Sexy as Shit, The Cartwheels and Antics Roadshow Band, with delicious food by Pipers of Penola.

On Sunday families flocked to the ‘Down the Lane’ festivities in the historical heart of Penola’s Petticoat Lane.

The lane was filled with music, food and wine, while there was also plenty on offer for children to make and create with the Kids Open Mic Competition being a highlight.

The Makers Market attracted more than 15 stalls of local crafters and artisans showcasing their wares.

On Sunday afternoon Penola’s Royal Oak Hotel hosted the Open Mic Competition in the beer-garden, which again proved a popular way to celebrate the festival’s weekend activities.

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