Nights light up at winter festival

East Gippsland Winter Festival 2022 program announced

Domestic travel
ILLUMINATING: The East Gippsland Winter Festival. Photo supplied.

ILLUMINATING: The East Gippsland Winter Festival. Photo supplied.

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Live music, dining and light shows are among the delights of this year's East Gippsland Winter Festival.

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Live music, dining and light shows are among the delights of this year's East Gippsland Winter Festival.

Featuring an array of more than 100 spectacular events happening across the region, it coincides with the winter solstice and Victorian school holidays, and promises something for everyone.

East Gippsland Shire Council mayor Mark Reeves is excited about this year's event.

"The events capture the imagination by highlighting all that is great about the food, places, people and culture of our community."

Highlights of this year's 24-day festival include:

  • 17-26 June: The F/LAMP Exhibition at Iceworks Studio, Lakes Entrance - where local craftspeople and artists exhibit their wonderfully-inspired lamp creations for a chance to win a $1000 art prize
  • 18 June: Beers, BBQ & Beats in Laneway3875, Bairnsdale - a family-friendly laneway celebration of art, music, good food and craft beer, featuring DJs, hip-hop artists, live music performances, regional chef-prepared barbecue cuisine, spectacular lighting projections, a pop-up bar, art exhibitions, workshops and more
  • 22 June-10 July: Three weeks of Winter Wellness experiences at Metung Hot Springs - including a celebration of World Bathing Day & Kombucha Classes
  • 22 June - 3 July The Ocean Grange x Sardine degustation lunch series is back
  • 2 July: Steph Strings LIVE - singer songwriter performs on the shores of Lake Tyers at Ninety Mile Beach
  • 2 July: Mediaeval Bonfire Night, Bruthen - featuring sword fights, costumes and feasting
  • 3 July: Walk With Me Winter Festival, Cann River - featuring live music from local artists, as well as open mic performances, a twilight food, community and artisan market, massive fairy-light display, an indigenous NAIDOC Week parade, ceremony and mural unveiling
  • 8 & 9 July: Tinamba Hotel Fine Dining Experience at La Riva, Eagle Point - includes bubbles and canapes in the venue's manicured art gardens, before a fine-dining lunch or dinner with sommelier-matched wines
  • 8 July-10 July: Sailors Grave Brewing 'Deep in the Weeds' Long Weekend, Orbost - three days of weird and wonderful craft beers, live music and delicious food including Melbourne's Meatsmith

East Gippsland Winter Festival founder and director, Adam Bloem, said this year's Winter Festival will also see the return of the colourful after-dark lantern parades, lighting displays and art installations that helped make last year's festival "so special".

"Our inaugural Winter Festival last year really was a bright and colourful affair, with local children, adults, families and businesses all working together to create some fantastic displays that made winter so much brighter for everyone in East Gippsland."

Celebrating resilience

Originally created as a response to the devastating 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires, Adam says the Winter Festival has now taken on "a life of its own".

"It was initially established to celebrate the wonderful spirit and resilience of the people of East Gippsland, and to provide an economic boost by attracting visitors back to the region after a couple of really tough years," Adam said.

"It proved to be such a success that it has now become an annual event, which we expect to attract tens of thousands of people each year, during a period that was previously viewed as the 'off-peak' season."

Other activities at this year's Winter Festival will include free lantern-making workshops, cultural ceremonies and experiences led by traditional Indigenous owners, long lunches showcasing local produce, wine, craft beer, chefs and restaurants, and nature/wellness activities; including bush walks, yoga, meditation, eco tours and more.

The 2022 East Gippsland Winter Festival will run from 17 June - 10 July. For more information, including ongoing program updates, click here.

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