Thursday, July 25, 2024

Knox Fest line-up gets cooking

Knox City Council says it has planned an epic program for this year’s Knox Fest, which returns to Ferntree Gully in March.

The much-loved free community festival started more than 40 years ago and is the biggest event on the Knox calendar.

Highlights include two stages of music and performances, rides and inflatables, makers markets, a foodie hub, roller skating rink, vintage car show, free kids’ workshops, activities and face painting, roving performers, nighttime projection art and a fireworks finale.

This year’s festival features The Good Food Hub, a market of local foodies with free cooking classes and tastings on offer.

Celebrity chef Lillie Giang (pictured), aka ‘The Food Affectionist’, will host cooking demonstrations from 11am-7pm and help kickstart the festival with the Prosperity Toss.

“Traditionally in South East Asia, they do it once a year during the New Year festival to unite everybody,” she says.

“It’s this humongous platter of salad and we invite the audience to hold onto their chopsticks and come and toss this beautiful salad to invigorate peace, unity, happiness — all the good wishes under the sun.”

Lillie says she loves appearing at Knox Fest because it’s a free event for everybody where the community can get together and have fun. For the first time, there will be cooking classes hosted with NDIS participants for people of all abilities.

“Food is the essence of life,” Lillie says. “It warms people’s bellies, it touches people’s hearts and I think when we’re serving food in such a big open space the aromas, the vibrancy, the happiness draws people in.”

A free roller skating rink with a DJ and giant jukebox will operate throughout the day and evening.

Roller-in-Chief, Tamsin Young says the rink caters for people of all ages.

“I really encourage people to come and give it a go, whether they’re trying it for the first time or they did it 30 years ago,” she says.

“It’s something that people love to do, especially after the past few years where we haven’t had an opportunity to do all of the things we love. Roller skating has had a resurgence in popularity and people are rediscovering it, to go skating with their kids and have it be a really intergenerational activity.

“There is a delight in the variety of humans that show up for the Knox Festival, it really is a fun festival for everyone.”

A fireworks show, starting just before 10pm, will see out the festival for another year. Pet owners living nearby are advised to keep their pets inside at this time.

Knox Fest is on Saturday 2 March from 10am–10pm at Wally Tew Reserve, Ferntree Gully.

For more information on the event, including accessibility and the full event program, visit www.knox.vic.gov.au/knoxfestival.

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