Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Maylands Street Festival

Perth has become festival-happy in the crazy fast lead-up to the festive season, and so have I.

Festival hopping results in excessive spending, but is a worthy expenditure when these hard-earned dollars in turn work even harder to contribute to a local community that is playing a role in Perth's rapid development.

Organised by the not-for-profit Maylands Business Association, The Maylands Street Festival is a bi-annual event taking place on the 25th of November this year.
As a great initiative to promote businesses in this emerging suburb, the festival brings out the creativity and culture it has been hiding and showcases the interesting character of (and characters in!) this thriving neighbourhood.

The bustling crowd on 8th Avenue
The festival, albeit smaller than most others, took place on a small but abundant strip in the suburb and undoubtedly had strong unanimous community support from local residents and visitors alike.

It attracted a steady crowd of people and immensely popular with families, with many activities aimed at the smaller people :) Children were spoiled with choice from all the games, face painting, amusement rides, art and craft workshops, and a live animal farm they could get their hands on (literally!)

As to keep us bigger ones amused, an abundance of market stalls stood amongst a constant movement of talented street performers, buskers and other forms of roving entertainment.

Don't wait 'til the Royal Show!
Once a yearly treat to get excited about, but now the pop-up showbag stand is everywhere where the kids + adults combination can be found.

Good news to the kids; but a detrimental effect on parents' wallets.

So that's what it feels like to be inside an orange...

Many items become so much more amusing when made into either a giant of miniature form, and this is no exception. Slightly ruined however, as this sadly, very very sadly, reminded me of Annoying Orange.

Because really, no matter how you think of it, this is also a talking orange.

Get down and dirty (Your hands)
In the artsy craftsy corner of the street lay a dedicated station loaded with bright, colourful paint mixes for every kid to be a kid and every adult to become a kid.

MYO Umbrella!
Sighted at just about every festival I have visited are a plethora of kids crowded around this particular art station, set up with a sea of plain paper umbrellas as a blank canvas for every person's artistic ability (or wild and senseless scribbles) to be released on.

A very creative idea to bring out the child's imagination, and a very practical item giving much needed shade from the harsh, unforgiving Aussie sun.

Colouring In and Silhouette artwork
We walked past a wall display of some impressive artwork done by primary school students, which only made me cringe at the rubbish I managed back in year 4.

Only I believed they were true indecipherable works of art (just like a true artist does).

Adventureland Bouncy Castle
A bouncy palace, fit for every little king and queen in every Mum and Dad's hearts :)
The Western Bull
And it wasn't just the kids who enjoyed a thrilling ride that day!

Kangaroo Drop
Kangaroo Drop, a much smaller scale of the ride I am too chicken to go on.

Add caption
As expected, there were queues for food and drink but nowhere near as long as frustration extends to.

The guys from Milkd sure did fill the air with the ubiquitous carnival smell of sausages and onions, sizzling away in a lifesized fry pan and baristas pumping out cups of milky brown liquid desire that people are so fond of.

Need this for my home
A one pan fits 10 meals approach - a genius solution to efficiency, or just pure laziness :)

Just one of many
While food is popular, others sold pre-packaged cups of bubble tea, sweet snacks and desserts to keep everyone going for the day.

Delish Ice
The Delish Ice mini caravan sold various gourmet popsicles at $3.50 a pop, a perfect companion and enemy of the heat.

Scrawled on the blackboard were the flavours available, including classic foolproof favourites like banana, strawberry and choc chip and orange and strawberry.
Venturing into more exotic choices, there is a ginger beer, mint and lime choice and the Herbes de Provence, infused with Madagascan vanilla and thyme.

For the alcohol-happy among us, Delish Ice have a range of cocktail inspired popsicles including the Mojito (mint and lime) and the Basil Smash (a gin inspired syrup) of elder flower and basil.

Mrs S stand
Following their prominence on the breakfast scene in Perth and the Maylands cafe strip, the Mrs S. team had a very prominent corner on the street with a steady queue for their sweet and savoury offerings.

Hot off the hotplate
Mrs S. has given the standard sandwich a slightly fancier cousin famously known as the manwich, a macho combination of pulled pork, aioli, rocket and beetroot relish for $8.

The same $8 also gets you more standard breakfast fare - piping hot bacon and egg rolls with homemade BBQ sauce compiled fresh off the overworked barbeque.

Refreshing chilled beverages
Salted Caramel Popcorn - $4
Bags and bags of popped joy - salted caramel sure has had rocketing fame lately!

On dainty little flower entwined cake stands sat beautifully decorated and presented sweets and cupcakes.

Temptations up for grabs included eton mess for $7, chocolate raspberry brownies and lemon curd cakes, both for $4.

I didn't have any, but I'm just as delighted to look at them :)


Primarily residential in nature, it is great to see the joint efforts by local businesses committed to bringing Maylands' transformation into a foodie's, fashionista's and artist's hub.

Admittedly it only took under 15 minutes to wander through the whole festival, which also featured live music from local bands and entertainment on stage. I ended up eating at one of the restaurants open for business instead, after keeping my stomach empty for all the food I anticipated at the festival.
A greater focus on food produced by local businesses would have amped up the deliciousness of the festival - the most predictable foodie speak right, I know.
(Hey, I am a foodie after all, what did you expect to hear!)

Originally under the threat of cancellation due to lack of council financial support, the festival stood strong. Evidence of a supportive community spirit shone through, with philanthropic financial contributions from the people with generous hearts behind the Dome Coffees and LJ Hooker business names.

There's still faith in humankind :)

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