Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Queen's Birthday Long Weekend 2016

Although Elizabeth II's real birthday is 21st April, most states in Australia celebrate the occasion on the second weekend in June.
"Celebrate" is probably the wrong word. Apart from the rabid monarchists, she gets little thought over the period. The only official events I can think of are the Trooping of the Colour at the Royal Military College, Duntroon and the announcement of the Birthday Honours by the Governor General.
For most Australians it's just another welcome holiday.
She is 90 years old and has been Queen of Australia for 64 of those.
The line in our old national anthem, but still the British one, 'long to reign over us' certainly is apt.
While the Republic debate in Australia still rumbles on in the background, there are more important social and economic issues going on at the moment.
I think when Charles eventually ascends the throne there will be renewed calls to break our ties with the monarchy. We will just have to wait and see.
So what happened locally during the three days?
The biggest event is the Shoalhaven Coast Winter Wine Festival.
It's popularity has been growing each year.
It is estimated that around 15000 people visited the various wineries this year. Most of these are concentrated in the north.
Down our end of the region it was however slim pickings. Our friends down the road have closed their winery to enjoy a retired life and, for some unfathomable reason, the biggest winery, Cupitts, decided not to participate in the festival this year. Instead they offered alternative arrangements to celebrate their 9th anniversary.
This left only one, Bawley Vale Estate to hold the fort festival wise. At this stage we have no information as to how they fared.
click to enlarge

In town the Milton Quilters held their biennial Fabulous Threads Exhibition. It was as popular as ever with over 80 quilts on show. I was press ganged into helping with the set up and pull down which involves considerable work but a free lunch. The co driver participated as well as helped out, 'white gloving' it for a few hours. There was no competition apart from viewers choice.
There were all sorts of hand made articles for purchase and the Milton-Ulladulla Men's Shed had beautiful woodwork items for sale. And of course there were vendors with their fabric (bolts and fat quarters), patterns, sewing supplies and notions. I know it's a bit sad I can speak some 'quiltlingo'.
Want some more?
OK then...mismatched points, puckers, FMQing, jelly roll, binding, basting, WIP/UFO.

Then there were the usual regional markets which are very popular. Sadly the Milton Scarecrow Festival was cancelled due to a lack of organization volunteers. A revival of this popular family event is planned for next year.
Our area was packed with visitors over the three days. They enjoyed superb winter weather with constant sunshine, little wind and warm daytime temperatures in the high teens. Quite a contrast to last weekend.
I don't ever envy them their very slow stop start drive home to Canberra or Sydney on crowded roads on the Monday.

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