Lockhart is gearing up to welcome thousands of visitors for its annual Spirit of the Land Festival, on Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13
The Spirit of the Land Festival was first held in 2006 when Lockhart was in the grip of drought, the idea behind it was to get people together for a social outing while celebrating the resilience of people who live and work on the land.
This year the festival will again showcase an amazing array of fantastic sculptures and art, music, markets and farm visits.
Attractions including the markets and live music are free, while for just $5 for adults (and free for children under 16) visitors can gain entry to the farm art sculptures and the visual arts.
This year the spectacular RAAF hot air balloon, rising high against the skyline, will offer free tethered balloon rides to visitors over the weekend, while the Leeton Lions Train will be running train rides all weekend. Pony rides, a merry-go round and jumping castles will add to the attractions available for children.
With more than $20,000 in prize money available, a highlight of the festival is the National Farm Art Awards.
Located near the shady banks of Brookong Lagoon, the awards feature creative art sculptures fashioned from recycled metal, old tools, rusty machinery and other elements of the land.
The $10,000 award for the main prize is always hotly contested with entries from established and emerging artists.
The Lockhart Memorial Hall adjacent the main street markets will be awash with visual art and it is a great opportunity to enjoy many different mediums including oils, acrylics and mixed mediums, with prizes being awarded for both fine and indigenous artworks. There is also an extensive photography exhibition.
Art and sculptures are available for purchase over the weekend.
More than 120 markets will feature at the lagoon and along Green Street selling a variety of high quality and hand crafted goods and giftwares, including luxurious bath and beauty products, bespoke fashion, designer homewares, children's gifts, fabulous garden decor, local produce and a variety of food options to taste and savour.
Garden lovers will enjoy the trail of town and country gardens open over the weekend and, for those who book early, farm tours will run on the Saturday for a gold coin donation.
Right in the heart of the action, Greens Gunyah Museum will be open for the weekend and includes the new Tim Fischer Gallery, the Jackson Strong display, the Talking Machines exhibition, the Doris Golder Wool Art Gallery and more than 100 entries from the 2019 Love Lockhart Shire photo competition. Entry to the museum is $5.