Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Armidale’s annual Autumn Festival celebration is returning this Saturday 6 April 2024, transforming the city’s centre into a hub of entertainment and community pride.

The festival has been a colourful celebration of Armidale City for more than 30 years, and is slowly returning to its pre-COVID event status. The Creeklands precinct will be the central location for all the festivities, with amusement rides, market stalls and food trucks providing something for everyone at the Festival.

“Autumn has traditionally been an important season for our region that evokes so much community and civic pride for the wonderful city of Armidale,” said Armidale Mayor Sam Coupland.

“Our region is a stand-out performer for its dazzling display of autumn colour and fabulous local talent. The Autumn festival marks the beginning of the Autumn season and the change of foliage from greens to yellow, oranges and reds of peak foliage in late April.”

The celebrations kick off in Civic Park, where festival goers can start the day with a hearty breakfast. This major fundraiser for the Armidale City Band, the Breakfast with the Band, has become an Autumn Festival institution. Take in the classic sounds of the brass band while the Armidale & Dumaresq Lions Club, along with the Quota Club of Armidale and the CWA, cook up a delicious pancake breakfast from 7am.

The unmistakable Celtic sounds of the amassed pipe bands will resonate through the Armidale Mall from 11.00am, leading the way for the hugely popular street parade from 12.30pm. The parade event has only recently resumed, as part of the 2023 Festival. The theme of this year’s parade will be ‘A Celebration of Autumn’, which will provide a colourful representation of the Autumn splendour for which Armidale is known and celebrated.

And yes, the Giant Koala will be back again this year.

Winding its way through the centre of town, the parade finishes at Curtis Park where the Autumn Festival Concert will keep the crowds entertained into the evening. Armidale Regional Council (ARC) has partnered with the New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM) who will be running the Autumn Festival concert stage.

The concert will commence with the Armidale Electric Orchestra followed by various school groups including the PLC and TAS jazz bands. The Armidale Pipe Band and highland dancers will add further Celtic flavour to the event, with the New England Wind Ensemble closing out the concert.

The popular Campus to City Canter will return to the 2024 Autumn Festival program after a four-year absence. The Campus to City Canter has been part of the Autumn Festival for over 20 years and the athletics community and general public are excited to see its return. The fun run from the UNE Campus to the Armidale city centre was organised and ready to go in 2020 when it was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Now, the canter is back bigger and better as part of this year’s Festival.

Celebrate autumn in the City of Armidale this weekend. See Armidale Regional Council website for more information.

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