Celebrating the Flinders

Local artist Emily Fels, from Emily Jean Designs, is participating in FlindersFest. Emily makes lampworked glass jewellery.

Local artist Emily Fels, from Emily Jean Designs, is participating in FlindersFest. Emily makes lampworked glass jewellery.

In a time where many communities are losing events because of lack of volunteers, the Hawker community has rallied to launch a new event to celebrate all the Flinders has to offer. The first annual FlindersFest will take place in Hawker on Sunday, October 1, taking full advantage of the busy long-weekend tourist trade and the start of school holidays.

“In an outback community you have to make your own opportunities,” said event organiser Chelsea Haywood. “This is our way of showcasing just some of the unique smaller businesses across the Flinders, and creating a fun, family event for both locals and tourists.”

Location is the key for the Hawker community, as the perfect stopping point for those traveling to popular tourism areas including Wilpena Pound, Blinman, Beltana, various station stays and Arkaroola, or aiming further north along the Birdsville or Oodnadatta tracks.

FlindersFest aims to harness that traffic and keep visitors in Hawker for longer than the usual fuel stop, coffee and gallery visit.

With priority given to local stallholders, FlindersFest is another way to bring outside money into the area, and organisers hope the event will grow each year. 

This year's FlindersFest features market stalls, live music, and children's activities, and begins at 10am. Entry to the event, held at Blue Burt Park (near the public toilets), is free.

The event, initially suggested by Chelsea last year, is supported by Flinders Ranges Council and organised by a small committee of volunteers who are keen to see community events continue and thrive in their town.

It coincides with the annual Craft Mart, which is held in the nearby hall and runs the duration of the school holidays.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/FlindersFest or email hawkerfete@gmail