Maritime Festival banishes winter blues

Published on Thursday, 10 June 2021 at 11:23:28 AM

Shanty singing, winter brews and hearty food will keep the spirit of Albany’s maritime history alive this winter as the City of Albany launches the inaugural Maritime Festival from 5th to 16th July.

The two-week long heritage festival will allow visitors and the community to explore Albany’s intrinsic nautical and cultural history through a range of activities at various locations across the city.

It kicks off with a five-day program of cultural experiences from 5th to 9th July, with a Noongar-Menang Cultural Hub celebrating our traditional land owners’ connection with Albany’s maritime history to coincide with NAIDOC Week.

Activities include sharing Dreamtime Stories, Women’s Weaving workshops and traditional kangaroo and damper cooking demonstrations to immerse participants in the world’s oldest living culture.

The Albany Boatshed will be the heart of the festival, with activities to tempt the entire family to leave winter hibernation with kid-friendly activities as well as boutique and artisan markets and stalls.

Across 10th and 11th July is the International Folk’n Shanty Festival – a music festival dedicated to breathing life into the melodic tales of past sailors and seafarers.

More than 40 different shanty groups from across Australia will travel to Albany to participate in performances at various venues that will fill the City with music to suit every taste, from the youngest pirate to the saltiest sea dog.

The heart of Albany will come alive on 10th July with The Galley street festival on Stirling Terrace, as warming street eats, fire pits, live music and a range of wintery drinks thaw away your winter blues.

The Festival will engage Albany’s Historic Whaling Station, Museum of the Great Southern, Princess Royal Fortress and Southern Edge Arts, who are also hosting their own programs of maritime events.

Albany Mayor Dennis Wellington said the Maritime Festival was a community collaboration.

“This will be the first year we’ve had the Maritime Festival and it has really been a community exercise to come together and plan something that is unique to Albany and can attract visitors at a time of year when tourism is traditionally slow,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to celebrate Albany’s maritime history and build on the success of the Folk’n Shanty Festival in recent years.”

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