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Back to Steiglitz Festival


October is about to roll around again, and with it the fabulous Back to Steiglitz Festival (Sunday 14th October, 10am - 3pm).

For those of you who have never heard of this rather quirky day, let me fill you in.

Steiglitz is a ghost town - so unique it was voted 5th best by Australian Geographic.

However, those of us lucky enough to live here (7 in total) prefer to say it's a "living" ghost town - for just like us, there's still a lotta life left in her - especially on Festival day!

Our little town is so special it's been classified as both historically and culturally significant.  Why?  Because it's a rare example of an 1800s gold rush boom town, seemingly untouched by time.

Then there's the setting - 7000 hectares of National Park, kangaroos, koalas and birds galore, over 400 species of wildflowers, and oodles of tranquility - partly due to the fact we are the last town in Victoria without electricity.

All reasons why so many film crews are among the 60,000 plus visitors who enjoy Steiglitz every year.

So what sort of Festival does a ghost town (and a handful of volunteers) put on?

A wonderfully offbeat one of course!

With an emphasis on old-fashioned family fun there's something for everyone.

Dad can try his hand at goldpanning.  Then grab a snag from the CFA BBQ, enjoy the vintage cars, motorbikes and stationary engines, take a cemetery tour, wander through Jack Boardman's legendary historical collection, or sample the fare of local wineries.

Mum can relax while strolling through stalls, local artist's exhibits or tatting (lace making) demo's.  She can visit Sugg's blacksmiths cottage for country baking, find a few plants at the Friends of Brisbane Ranges stall, or sit in the shade and treat herself to a delicious Devonshire tea.

While the kids will be spoilt for choice.  They can laugh their way through egg & spoon or sack races, drink home-made lemonade, find a treasured toy in the lucky dip, watch the blacksmith or sheepdogs at work, witness the rope maker in action, or buy a few raffle tickets (1st prize a helicopter ride for 2 - told you we're different out here!)

Plus the Courthouse and Steiglitz Historical Society's Museum will be open - who knows, you may discover an ancestor or two.  There will be a choir, roving musicians, competitions and much more.

Oh, I can't forget our now famous Scout-run Billy Cart Race.  Entry forms and rules can be found on www.trueblueford.com/steiglitz    though be quick, numbers are limited.  The entire family will love this, and mum or dad may even want to give our local elders a run for their money in the race's hilarious 'Silly Billy' section.

There you have it, a festival as old-fashioned and friendly as the town itself.

Entry is free, as is much of the entertainment (while others are gold coin donation).

To top off the day 100% of proceeds go towards repairing and maintaining our town's historic public buildings.  Meaning all donations or money spent at a Back to Steiglitz Association stall help to keep this magical ghost town alive.

So if you feel like something different, come to the Back to Steiglitz Festival on Sunday October 14th , between 10am and 3pm,  stroll through our streets, and enjoy the unique experiences of a window into the past.

Hope to see you there.

Lindy Allinson.