THE annual Meeniyan on Fire festival sparked great excitement last Saturday. Huge crowds descended on the town eager to take part in the family fun day began at 9am and continued until well into the evening.
The festival, organised by the Meeniyan Tourism and Traders Association and sponsored by the South Gippsland Shire Council, gets bigger and better each year, with even the weather coming to the party, providing a much finer day than forecast. People came out in droves with many coming from as far afield as Melbourne and the Mornington Peninsula.
The organisers are justifiably proud that their town is really buzzing with a fantastic array of established stores and new businesses and the festival was a great opportunity for visitors to the area to become acquainted with everything Meeniyan has to offer.
Stalls lined the main street offering great deals from local traders and individuals with goods on offer ranging from plants and books to hand crafted timber boxes, iron clocks, watercolour paintings, jewellery and beautifully made children’s clothing.
This very family-oriented event had plenty to keep the children entertained including abseiling for the adventurous, a treasure hunt for the explorers and art workshops at Meeniyan Art Gallery for the creative. The bouncing castle was very popular and at any given time most children could be seen displaying the work of the face painter, who was kept hard at work all day.
The CFA’s smokehouse activity was very popular – and educational, providing children with the knowledge of how best to deal with a smoke-filled room.
Roving entertainers had a ‘Pied Piper’ effect on the children, including the Snow Queen who moved amongst the crowd effortlessly on stilts, leaving in her trail waves of colourful bubbles, much to the delight of children.
Members of the Leongatha Medieval Society dressed up accordingly for the occasion and wandered the streets, wielding swords and battle axes, adding to the atmosphere.
Food is a part of any festival and there were plenty of options available to help keep the energy levels high. The CFA cooked up a storm on the barbecue, Meeniyan Golf Club’ gourmet hot dogs were also very popular, as were the specialty Italian delicacies on offer from Trulli Pizza.
The music and fun continued on the street right throughout the day and well into the evening at Tavern Night, held at the Meeniyan Town Hall.
Tarwin Valley Development Group members Jenny O’Sullivan and Andrew Mc McEwen were very pleased with the interest shown in the group’s display of brand concepts, providing the public with details of the Tarwin Valley draft which has been formed to promote the economic, tourism and social development of the district. The community feedback gathered on the day will be taken into account and utilised in the further development of the brand.
The organisers of this very successful festival can now sit back, relax and congratulate themselves on a job well done – but no doubt will soon be contemplating ideas for the fourth annual Meeniyan on Fire event.