City set to shine

Mount Gambier will light up for winter as part of a new and innovative event set to transform the Cave Gardens precinct. The Blue Lake city will be included as part of the upcoming Illuminate Adelaide winter event – which will take over Adelaide’s city streets, laneways and buildings from July 16 to August 1.

The Mount Gambier installation will precede the Adelaide event, with dates to be announced in coming days. Illuminate Adelaide is being billed as a celebration of innovation, music, art, light and technology.

It is an entirely new event concept for South Australia and explores the union between future technology and creative industries and will completely reimagine the Adelaide CBD during the traditionally quieter winter months.

The event was announced by SA Tourism Commission chief executive Rodney Harrex during a visit to Mount Gambier on the weekend to witness the arrival of QantasLink into the region.

“Ahead of the program launch, I am very pleased to confirm that as part of the 2021 Illuminate Adelaide, there are also plans to light up South Australian regions with a series of installations featuring international, national and local artists across a five month period spanning from June to October 2021,” he said.

“And as we are here in Mount Gambier today talking about greater access to the region, it seems quite fitting that we can announce Mount Gambier is one of the regional sites to host an ‘Illuminate South Australia’ installation at the iconic Cave Garden during winter.”

Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin was full of praise for the upcoming event. “Council is looking forward to working with the SA Tourism Commission to bring something very unique to Mount Gambier in the form of a light up installation in the Cave Garden during winter,” she said.

“It is exciting that this event is travelling to the regions and in particular to Mount Gambier, which will provide an opportunity for our residents to experience Illuminate in our unique environment.”

Meanwhile, another new festival is on the horizon, with the city set to host a Fantasy and Medieval Fair in April/May 2022. Organisers Tammy Flier and Talie Teakle are familiar with the community event landscape and met when Ms Teakle joined as a volunteer to assist Ms Flier to run the ColourDay events which were hugely successful fundraisers.

Ms Teakle also assisted with the first three NYE festivals and both have been working on the Fringe Festival organising team for the last few years. Ms Teakle said the concept of a medieval style fair had proved popular in other regions, but had never been tested in Mount Gambier. “I have attended many medieval festivals in SA in my 20’s at places like Carrick Hill and Birdwood and they have always been a lot of fun with activities for the whole family,” she said.

“So when Tammy suggested the idea I was 100% in and we have just been waiting until after the Fringe to have time to start planning.” The team is co-opting like-minded enthusiasts from the community to assist in the planning and will soon put out an EOI for stallholders, rovers and activities as well as grant applications and sponsors.

“We envisage the fair will have a range of activities for all ages during the day, including demonstrations on art forms and techniques such as blacksmithing, leatherworking, spinning and weaving,” Ms Flier said. “There will also be activities like a petting zoo, archery, cardboard armour making and games of Dungeons and Dragons.

“Then in the evening, the fair will involve a feast and celebration of the harvest. “With an event like this atmosphere is everything and all stallholders will need to commit to their content being presented in a medieval way. “Whether this means decorating your marquee in burlap and scarves, or renaming your raspberry ciders to Dragon’s blood, it will all contribute to creating a memorable medieval experience for Mount Gambier.”

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