I love that there are so many different things to do here in Alice Springs and its surrounds. Festivals, for one thing. A favourite festival is the annual Beanie Festival. This is a celebration of the arts and textiles behind the beanie, a woollen hat made of wool or felt. It’s timed for June when the weather is cooler and beanies are a much appreciated wardrobe addition – especially on a sunset camel ride here at Pyndan Camel Tracks.
What do I love about the Beanie Festival – Well it’s:
- Huge – 4000 or more visitors over 4 days and even more beanies and also tea cosies;
- Colourful – visualise thousands of beanies in an enormous display hanging from the ceiling at Beanie Central and piled on tables; some are knitted, some felted, some crocheted and some embroidered;
- Affordable – huge range of pricing on beanies from about $15 to way more expensive;
- Inclusive – many beanies and tea cosies on display or for sale are made in indigenous communities and others are contributed by crafters around Australia and overseas;
- Exhibition – some of the best beanies are chosen to be displayed in the beanie exhibition gallery;
- Practical – there are craft workshops and indigenous workshops;
- Most of all, great fun – not just because of the beanies but there is also live music and food stalls.
The Beanie Festival has been running for over 25 years. If you have a look at the Beanie Festival website www.beaniefest.org you can read about its history and how communities prepare for it. The website has free beanie patterns and information about the next Festival including how you can enter a competition, volunteer, donate or just come along to enjoy the fun.