Community & Lifestyle

Hamilton Woolly West Fest aims to ‘Unlock the Flock’

Terry Sim, July 21, 2014

BLOKES, knitters and sheep are mustering to help the Victorian city of Hamilton reclaim its Wool Capital of the World title with a very woolly festival starting next week.

On July 28, the Woolly West Fest launch dubbed Unlock The Flock will feature some green sheep in the Hamilton Library.

Organisers are describing the Woolly West Fest as a unique wool-craft festival shaped entirely around the theme of South Australian author Mem Fox children’s book, Where is the Green Sheep?

A big mob of knitters, woolcraft enthusiasts and supportive blokes will set loose a ‘flock’ of wool-crafted sheep, create a ‘Wool-craft Walk’ down Hamilton main’s thoroughfare Gray Street, clothe 96 parking meters and 15 trees in wool and fill shop windows with displays themed – Where is the Green Sheep?

Mem Fox will hold several book readings during the festival from July 28 till August 10, a week either side of Hamilton’s popular sheep field days, Sheepvention, run by the Hamilton Pastoral and Agricultural Society.

Sheepvention’s Home Paddock pavilion will also be transformed into a haven of woolly art, craft, clothing, with many balls of wool.

Regional Arts Victoria has granted $3000 to the festival and The Hamilton Men’s Shed have joined in to construct eight sheep ‘frames’.

Australian Wool Innovation media manager Marius Cuming, secured a donation of wool toward the project.

“It has been wonderful to donate a significant amount of knitting wool to this exciting event fresh from Wool Week in Melbourne.

“The global Campaign for Wool has now extended to over a dozen countries, all highlighting the natural, sustainable and versatile nature of wool,” he said.

“The Woolly West Fest is a perfect opportunity to celebrate this in a region famous for its high quality wool,” he said.

More information about the Woolly West Fest can be found at www.facebook.com/woollywestfest or at www.sheepvention.com

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