By Claire Ottaviano
TOODYAY will step back in time yet again to celebrate the life and times of the iconic Moondyne Joe at the 2021 Moondyne Festival this weekend.
Located in the Wheatbelt area, the festival is not subject to Perth and Peel COVID-19 restrictions but attendees should check up-to-date State guidelines before travelling around the regions.
The festival is the premier colonial festival in WA, first held in 1984 to celebrate the life and times of ‘Joseph Bolitho John’s, known as ‘Moondyne Joe’, the Avon Valley’s legendary bushranger.
Festival committee member Anne Brain said the highlight of the day’s entertainment was the re-enactment of Moondyne Joe’s various escapades and his mock trials.
“The festival transforms the picturesque historical town of Toodyay into a lively all- day festival with the sound of song, dance, laughter and fun for the whole family,” Ms Brain said.
“Locals and guests dress in 19th century costumes for a colourful procession down the main street, headed by the musket-firing Rifle and Artillery Regiment 1860, and will be followed by a fun, colourful, energetic and noisy parade with street actors, pipe band, blacksmith, wood chopping and much more.
“Cheer on ‘Joe’s Gang’ and the floozies, coppers, swaggie and town crier as Joe is tried by a kangaroo court convicted by a corrupt judge and escaped with the assistance of local inhabitancy who love Joe, one would say he was the WA equivalent of Ned Kelly or Robin Hood.”
Stirling Terrace will be closed to traffic from 9am to 4pm, Sunday May 2, for the festival.
Entry and a range of entertainment, displays, performances and demonstrations are free and there will also be a variety of craft and food stalls and an antique and collectors fair.
Events include log chopping, shearing, blacksmithing, bush poetry, stilt walkers, animal petting zoo, Clydesdale cart rides, shearing, wood turning, the Royal Australian Navy Band and Kalamunda Pipe Band and the ever popular Swaggie Camp.
For more information visit www.moondynefes
tival.com.au or email an