It’s billed as a fun-filled, good old-fashioned family event, and this year’s Festival of the Lambs will not disappoint. Showcasing all things lamb – from paddock to plate – and everything in between, the event is held in the village of Windeyer.
Windeyer is an old gold mining town which is now a tranquil rural hamlet just 40 kilometres south-west of Mudgee.
The festival kicks off at 9am this Saturday at the Windeyer Recreation Grounds, opposite the Gold and Fleece Hotel.
Owner of the Gold and Fleece Hotel, Diane Phillips, explained that the day of entertainment also aims to educate the community on a range of important issues including:
- awareness of Windeyer and Pyramul’s reputation as producers of fine grain wool
- providing farmers with invaluable advice on weed identification and control and animal control
- bush fire awareness, the value of burning off weeds and your responsibility to consult with the fire brigade before burning off.
Along the way there will be some unique, country-style entertainment which relies solely on imagination – there will not be an electronic device competing for your attention at this festival!
After almost a decade, the Bylong Mouse Races will make a welcome return.
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“We are reviving the Bylong Mouse Races,” Diane said. “There will be 12 mouse races, where they race through enclosed runs and the winners of each race progress to compete at the end of the day in the Windeyer Cup.”
“People can ‘buy’ a mouse, place their bet and try their luck.”
A local butcher will also hold a rare display of how to properly dissect a carcass.
“This is probably something most people won’t have seen,” Diane said.
“It will show people where the different cuts of meat come from and explain the importance of having it done in an abattoir – not on a property – for food safety reasons.”
There will be plenty to see and do on the day, including:
- blade shearing demonstrations
- wool classing and spinning demonstrations
- market stalls
- old fashioned kids activities like ‘splat the rat’ (a ball in a sock game) and a retake of snakes and ladders called ‘sheep and sheepdogs’
- sheep races
- yard dog trials
- chef cooking displays
- musical entertainment.
You can tuck into lamb on a spit, lamb lasagne, lamb burgers or some gourmet lamb sausages.
The festival runs from 9am-4pm and entry is a gold coin donation.
The Gold and Fleece Hotel will be open for lunch and dinner with a band playing after the festival.