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Wednesday 6 July 2016

Head to the deep south of Tasmania for winter fun

It has been described as one of the quirkiest festivals in Australia - and it is just around the corner. 

The Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival in Tasmania is expected to attract a crowd of over 10,000 with a program that includes fireside feasting, pagan rituals, music, theatre and stories. 

The venue is the Willie Smith's Apple Shed at Grove and the dates are July 15-17. 

There will be a giant bonfire and some of the best produce from the southernmost region of Australia. 

Organiser Sam Reid, from Willie Smith’s Cider, said the festival promised to captivate audiences with a whimsical line-up of live performances, dancing and al fresco feasting on food, wine and ciders.

This year will mark the third Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival. 

"The festival has grown from a small community event in its first year to capturing the imaginations of visitors from all over the country who see it as a continuation of the popular Dark Mofo event in Hobart," Reid said. 

"We are expecting more than 10,000 people to visit over the three-day event, which is great for our valley and Tasmania given the exposure it is receiving nationally and even internationally.

"At the festival's core is the ancient tradition of wassailing. This ritual ensures bad spirits are eliminated from orchards and promises to wake up the dormant apple trees and encourage a bumper fruit crop - something the team at the Smith family orchard would warmly welcome given the growing demand for its popular organic produce and value-added products."

The celebrations begin on the Friday night with a welcoming ceremony featuring the burning of a 6-metre-tall effigy, lit with a flaming arrow. The Burning Man is being built at the Grove farm this week.

Live music, Morris dancing and prizes for the best-dressed are highlights, along with the inaugural Huon Valley Storytellers Cup, which will take place on Saturday night, featuring local talent and headlined by Jackie Kerin - the President of Storytelling Australia Victoria. 

Also new for this year is the ‘Wolfzingers Cider Show Alley’, a show curated specifically for the festival by the talented Annie Lee from The Kransky Sisters. 

For full details and a schedule of events visit

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