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  • Writer's pictureHelen Avaient

Community Spirit sparks up at Winter Fire in Deloraine, Tasmania, Australia

Updated: Jul 19, 2021

Held annually each year, Winter Fire in Deloraine attracted capacity crowds in 2021. I was one of the 900 guests and 100 workers who attended the event to celebrate winter and community.

The highlight of the evening was the largest bonfire I have ever seen. Local firefighters were on hand to ensure the safety of everyone. The soulful sound of a piper led everyone to the phoenix topped bonfire just prior to the lighting. Each year a different theme is created. This year the phoenix symbolised the end of an era and then rising from the ashes to begin anew.

There was a wonderful sense of community spirit and fun at this family friendly event. In the depth of a cold winter evening, people left their cosy warm homes to be there with each other. The only electronic devices seen were the occasional mobile, taking photos. Community events such as this bring people together.

Local entertainers displayed their talents and entertained the crowd. These included fire twirlers, a flaming piano, medieval costumers and the Taiko Drummers.

The crowd favourite was the Meander Men’s choir. People joined in, singing to songs they knew. I had actually met the guitarist Eddie at a fundraising trivia night at Meaner Hall a few weeks prior, and felt like a local when greeting him afterwards. (We were on the same winning team!)

The crowd either sat on the scattered hay bales or stood around the welcoming fire drums. More than a few bodies swayed in time with the music.

Marshmallows were on sale, and children cajouled parents into purchasing these sticky treats which were then toasted at the various fires scattered around the area. Adults could keep internally warm with coffee or mulled wine. Food vans and stalls gave guests a variety of dinner choices.

This community event is presented by Arts Deloraine and supported by APEX, Deloraine Show Society, Rotary, SES, Meander Valley Council and more. A special shout out to event coordinator Kylie Rogerson who was manning the gate when I arrived, yet still had time for a quick friendly chat.

This type of community spirited event brings locals and visitors together. Sharing in this occasion warmed my soul as much as the fire warmed my body. Attending festivals such as this are not often on the agenda of tourists, but as a traveller I seek out these amazing events that allow you to meet the real local people.

Happy Travels!

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