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Lifestyle: Glenferrie Festival 2023

A week of stroppy weather leading up to Sunday 5 March gave way to a hot, windy day for the annual Glenferrie Festival. The event, hosted by the Glenferrie Traders Association (GTA) and their newly designated events manager, boasted approximately 85,000 attendees.

Carnival rides are a popular staple of the Glenferrie Festival

The GTA explained that the festival "is about bringing people together to enjoy the best of their community" and "delivers an opportunity for locals to interact with each other, community and sporting groups, local businesses as well as local government."

This year’s festival hosted the usual activist and political marquees, alongside book and trinket sellers. Many local restaurants and produce sellers opted for food and drink stalls, while buskers and DJ's punctuated the chattering crowd with often competing music styles. Most notable however, was the focus on younger attendees.

85,000 visitors flocked to this year's festival

Jas and Cameron at Eckersley's Art Supplies remarked "there was definitely a younger demographic this year." They followed the golden rule of 'adapt or die', "We initially had some test products from our stock for customers to try, but when we realised we were in the 'kids zone' we shifted our focus and got our face-painters to stay on longer and just let the kids sit and draw for as long as they liked. We were busy all day and the cues were constant."

Rose at Gi-Gi In Style raved that this year's was, "heaps better than the last one" and "it felt like there was a fresh approach". Her only critique was the lack of more 'adult-oriented' entertainment. "I think a lot of people would have loved a place to sit and have a beer and listen to some live music. I know I would!" A baby animal petting enclosure and smaller scale carnival rides provided plenty of thrilling distractions for youngsters, while older kids were treated to skill-test games, showbags and a few, more adrenalizing rides.

This year's festival was very 'kid' friendly

Voula at Cones Ice Cream & Gelato, who has seen numerous Glenferrie Festivals over her business's 18 years, beamed over the success of the fairy floss stall outside her shop, a staple each year at the festival. Overall a fun day out, with plenty on offer for the kids. Perhaps next year some more activities on offer for the 'big' kids wouldn't be amiss. Certainly, the 11am start could be revised, with some traders noting that patrons began filling the street at around 10am.

See you next year, on Sunday 3 March 2024.

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