If you like music, wine, food and a shady spot by the creek, there’s never been a better time to head to the hills to support fire-affected communities than the weekend of February 21 and 22.
Yes, the mountains are calling and Tumbarumba is your destination where, for two days of the year, music lulls up to 5000 visitors into a walking wonderland full of food and wine called Tumbafest.
Actually, this year it’s more a holler than a cry as the town recovers from two weeks of total evacuation at the height of the devastating bushfires that threatened to annihilate it in January. Tumbafest coordinator Karly Fynn said the impact of the fires had rendered some people without homes, property, stock and businesses without income.
“It’s been scary, emotional and stressful for everyone living in and around Tumbarumba,” she explained, “that’s why we would love to see everyone come up to support Tumbafest, to support the town, help them to heal and celebrate the fact they survived these fires”.
Set in parkland along the banks of Tumbarumba Creek, just behind the town’s main street, Tumbafest this year features headline performers Kate Ceberano and country rock band The Wolfe Brothers topping a bill of first-class bands that fills the entire weekend, settling back to Blues and a little bit of country on Sunday.
All this amid a cornucopia of food and market stalls set up along creekside parkland, a wine courtyard plus a food and wine matching event; all showcasing the region’s fresh produce, crafts and cool climate wines.
If your kids like sandpits, face painting, puppet shows, photo booths and an entertaining range of amusement rides – Kids Corner will be ready and waiting.
This year’s Tumbafest will kick off with the Blaze of Glory Rodeo starting at 4 pm at the Tumbarumba showgrounds on Friday night.
The town’s rodeo is usually held on New Year’s Day, but was cancelled this year due to the fires.
Rodeo Committee president Tim O’Brien said Tumbafest provided an opportunity for them to join forces to raise vital funds for the town, which is still stumbling back economically.
Karly agreed, “it means more people are in the town one more night so they can experience both that and Tumbafest”.
“Hopefully they will get out and explore the region as well – visit some of the wineries, the small village, head over to Batlow and spend a bit of money,” she said.
Tumbafest runs on both Saturday from 10 am – 7 pm and Sunday 9 am – 6 pm.