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Waltz into Orange this February for Australia’s best poetry festival

Posted by Trevor King on February 04, 2021

Banjo Paterson is an Australian icon. If you don’t know him by name, you’ll definitely have heard of his most famous creation, the catchy Aussie tune that is ‘Waltzing Matilda’. But Andrew Barton (“Banjo”) Paterson was far from a one-hit wonder. The bush poet was renowned for his captivating poetry about everyday life in rural Australia, quickly becoming one of the Central Tablelands’ most famous writers.

Since 2014, an annual australian poetry festival has been held as a tribute to Banjo and his life’s work. This February, the eighth Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival comes to Orange NSW, bringing with it a series of events for locals and visitors alike.

From the 13th until the 21st of February, Orange and its surrounding towns will transform into a poetry paradise. Think poetry recitals, dinners, school performances, professional entertainers, markets and more. All all this can be found within easy driving distance of Lakeview Luxury Retreat.

 

The poetry festival program

The opening weekend of the festival kicks off on Saturday 13th with a Banjo Paterson poetry tribute in the gardens of Rosebank Guest House. Local perfomers will bring his iconic ballads to life among the picturesque gardens of the historical Millthorpe property. Concurrently, an afternoon tea will be held at Boree Cabonne Homestead where guests will experience entertainment, history and a special tour of the landmark property. In the evening, an open poetry contest will be held at Freemasons Hotel in Molong, where prize money is up for grabs for the best one-minute performance. Sunday offers another opportunity for the public to show off their skills during an open-mic event at the Banjo – More Than A Poet Museum at Yeoval.

On Wednesday, one of the highlights of the festival will see a permanent tribute to Banjo unveiled in the Museum in Yeoval. Banjo spent the first seven years of his childhood in the town of Yeoval and a three-metre bronze sculpture will be erected in his honour. That evening, Banjo’s birthday will be celebrated at the Banjo Paterson Park in Orange through music, poetry and stories about Narrambla Vale—where Banjo was born in 1864.

The Barrel Shed at Heifer Station Wines is the venue for the main event on Thursday, where another open-mic event can be enjoyed along with a glass of beer or wine and a hearty shearer’s meal. Youth performances abound on Friday and Saturday mornings—an important focus in 2021 as festival organisers aim to encourage more young people to appreciate the art of bush poetry.

The 2021 Banjo Paterson Poetry Festival concludes on Sunday 21st February with a Rotary Community Market Day at Orange’s showground arena. The markes will offer craft, produce and entertainment, and another open-mic event to bring the festival to a memorable close.

Orange accommodation for the Banjo Paterson Poetry Festival

Lakeview Luxury Retreat is situated just a 10-minute drive from the town of Orange, an hour from Yeoval and 30 minutes from all other event destinations. With most of the poetry festival events taking place in Orange, our scenic accommodation alongside the Lake Canobolas Reserve is the perfect place to stay.

We offer premium self-contained villas among a tranquil setting and there are dozens of wineries, restaurants and outdoor activities nearby: bushwalking, cycling, water sports, fishing, golfing, caving and more. If you’re looking for accommodation in Orange for the Banjo Paterson poetry festival, we’d love to welcome you to Lakeview and help you get the most out of your experience in our beautiful part of the world.