This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival and celebrations for 2011 will be bigger than ever over the Festival weekend, 9-11 December.
Coinciding with the annual cherry harvest and the start of the cherry season, the Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival will take over the streets of Manjimup for three days running, boasting a hive of activity, live entertainment, special guests and of course, more cherries than you can poke a tongue at!
The 2011 Festival officially opens on Friday 9th December with the Cherry Ball, a night jam-packed with a live big band, gorgeous frocks, dapper suits and a whole lot of dancing.
Saturday 10 December sees the centre of Manjimup buzzing with live bands, dazzling dancers, tantalising locally sourced food, cooking demonstrations, wine tasting and cherry stalls. Amongst other great community competitions - the Red Wheelbarrow Race and the Wood Chopping competition.
An exciting part of the Saturday celebrations is the annual Cherry Festival Pip Spitting Competition, which pits contestants against one another to see who can make the longest distance by spitting a cherry pip.
This year will once against pit the New Zealand Sherry Stone Spitting Champion against the local champ in the Australasian Cherry Pip Stone Championship of the World. This event is called by a double act comprising comedy legend Wyat Nixon Lloyd and rapidly fading ex-comedian, Jon Doust.
Festival spokesperson, Roy Pit Bull Piggott, spends a lot of time between Festivals writing to potential contestants from around the world and inviting the best pip-spitters to Manjimup to compete with the local talent.
“We are very proud to show our town off to visitors from all over the state and cherry-enthusiasts from across the globe during the Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival. The community involvement is increasing each year and people from out of town are making a weekend of it more and more to see what all the fuss is about. We like to think no-one loves cherries like Manjimup loves cherries!” says Piggott.
After the all-day celebration on the Saturday, Sunday 11 December allows for a more relaxing time at the Long Table Lunch. Approximately 200 guests line both sides of a long table covered in crisp white cloth that stretches across the grass amongst cherry trees in the Newton Brothers Orchard. The four course meal served includes local cherry produce, black truffles and the finest local wines.
Since the inaugural year in 2002 the Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival has proven a hoot of a time for all ages. Over five thousand people visit the Festival annually, a number that is growing each year.
Where else do they celebrate cherries?
· Michigan, USA, is the ‘Cherry Capital of the World’, where the International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship is held annually.
· Viterbo, Italy, the ‘Cherries Festival of Celleno's Proloco’.
· Céret, France - here they make a fifteen metre cherry pie each year and drink cherry flavoured beer.
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