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***For immediate release***   Wednesday 6 February, 2013

Bacchus Tourism & Western Water Raise the Veggie Patch Stakes

Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association, in partnership with Western Water is on the search for Bacchus Marsh and surrounds ‘Best Backyard Veggie Patch’.

The competition forms part of the annual Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival, taking place on the third weekend in March each year.  Celebrating its 6th year on Sunday 17th March, 2013, the event provides locals and visitors to Bacchus Marsh with the opportunity to step behind the farm gate, meet the grower, and to have a fun day out enjoying local food, produce, heritage and entertainment.

Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association President David Durham says “Much pride and passion goes into local backyard veggie patches, and we are fortunate to have such productive soil across the Bacchus Marsh river plateau. We encourage our community to get into the spirit of the Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival and to register their details for the Best Backyard Veggie Patch.  It doesn’t take much to enter and you have to be in it to win it”

In addition to the glory of being crowned the winner, Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association has in 2013 partnered with Western Water to host the annual competition. 

Durham says “We are extremely pleased to partner with a community minded organisation such as Western Water.  They are highly supportive of the Bacchus Marsh community and the Best Backyard Veggie Patch competition. The Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association is run by volunteers, and we greatly appreciate the recognition of our efforts to educate and involve the community, along with identifying the winner based on important factors such as plant health, range of planting, good water management, soil maintenance, crop rotation, and more.

The competition is open to all backyard veggie patch growers (regardless of property size) as well as school kitchen gardens.  The only condition is that the veggie patch cannot be grown for commercial purposes. Judging will take place in March 2013, in the fortnight leading up to the Harvest Festival.  Local orchardist and Tourism Association volunteer Jeff Jones returns as one of the judges.

With thanks to Western Water the first prize winner will receive $500, second prize receives $300, 3rd prize $200 and fourth a special commendation for $100.

David Durham says “We would love to see everyone get into the spirit of the competition – it is really about celebrating our fantastic local produce and growing efforts, whether you buy it at the farm gate, or grow your own. Last year’s winner Morris Dal Bosco, along with our other entrants put in a fantastic effort and it brings a smile to your face to know that so many people within our community are actively taking part in reducing food miles.

What: Best Backyard Veggie Patch with thanks to Western Water
Who can Enter: Residents of Bacchus Marsh and surrounds
How to enter:  Email your details (name, address, phone) to info@visitbacchusmarsh.com.au or sign up at Jeff Jones Plants & Produce along the Avenue of Honour, Bacchus Marsh.  Alternatively download an entry form at www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au

Address details are kept private and there is no public access required to the properties, with the exception of visits by the competition judges which are by appointment. This is a game of skill.

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Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association are an independent not for profit group.



***For immediate release***   Tuesday 9th October 2012

Progressive Trio Take On Tastebuds

Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association is pleased to announce an exciting addition to the event line up for the annual Bacchus Marsh Strawberries & Cherries Trail Weekend. Three local businesses caught up in the event spirit of collaboration and celebrating local produce, have come together to bring to life a unique foodie experience – a strawberry & cherry themed progressive dinner.

Baby Black, Burke’s on Main and Bacchus Hill Winery will play host to the Progressive Dinner commencing promptly at 6pm on Saturday 17th November, 2012.  The evening seeks to celebrate the festival weekend heroes – the sweet whimsical strawberry and the cheerfully plump cherry.  All strawberries and cherries used on the night will be grown and sourced locally – either from Paynes Orchards, Naturipe Fruits or Jeff Jones Plants and Produce.

Guests start at Baby Black for tasty themed appetisers and a welcome cocktail, before walking across to Burke’s on Main for a sumptuous main course.  Following that, a short journey up to Bacchus Hill Winery for a decadent dessert also complimented by a glass of house sticky, whilst being entertained by the 9.30pm fireworks and tunes from Johnny Stingray & the Wanderers.

Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association President David Durham says “As the Bacchus Marsh Strawberries & Cherries Weekend continues to grow as an iconic event within the Daylesford Macedon Ranges region, we are very pleased to see the introduction of a progressive themed dinner. Three businesses collaborating to deliver an aspirational evening – this is in the spirit of what our Tourism Association is about.

In its inaugural year, the progressive dinner event is able to cater for an exclusive 45 guests and those interested in taking part are encouraged to book tickets quickly before they run out.  Tickets are $95 and represent considerable value for the quality menu on offer.”

For everyone else there is still the opportunity to head up to Bacchus Hill Winery on the night to enjoy the best views in town, live music, and to watch the 9.30pm fireworks showcase sponsored by Telstra Countrywide.  BYO picnic rugs and picnics are encouraged. Entry is by gold coin donation to Rotary.  Gates open at 5pm with a magician on site from 6 til 7. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to secure a good viewing position, and recommended to bring jackets in event of a cool evening.  
Johnny Stingray and the Wanderers kick off from 7.30pm.  Drinks are also available for purchase on the night (no BYO alcohol).

Durham says “This year the Strawberries & Cherries Weekend involves over 25 local businesses and 10 local not for profits. We are extremely grateful to our event sponsors for helping to make our annual events possible, and in particular for the Saturday night, Telstra Countrywide who we are pleased to announce as our 2012 Fireworks Sponsor”


Strawberry & Cherry Progressive Dinner

When: Saturday 17th November, 2012.   Bookings on 0418 808 176

Where: Baby Black, Burkes on Main, Bacchus Hill Winery

Hours: Starts promptly at 6pm. Tickets are $95 each and bookings/prepayment are a must.

Check the website for details: www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au

 

Bacchus Marsh Strawberries & Cherries Weekend
When: Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th November, 2012

Where: Bacchus Marsh Township, Various venues

Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10am til 5pm. Sat night 5pm til 11pm www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au

Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association is an independent not for profit association

 

***For immediate release***   Thursday 27th September 2012

Bacchus Berry Blossom Bliss

The township of Bacchus Marsh is experiencing the beauty of local strawberry and cherry blossoms ahead of the 6th Annual Strawberries & Cherries Trail Weekend. This year’s festival takes place on 17th & 18th Nov 2012.

The Strawberries & Cherries Weekend celebrates the arrival of strawberry and cherry season across the Bacchus Marsh food bowl, providing locals and visitors with a Strawberry & Cherry Trail along which they can experience a wide selection of strawberry and cherry themed activities including fruit picking.

Local grower and Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association President David Durham says
“Many local farmers are optimistic that the season ahead is looking positive. We are fortunate that there has been plenty of water around; the strawberry plants are looking healthy, and along with the cherries, are flowering well.   In particular, many cherry varieties are at full bloom right now and it is a beautiful and unique experience to take in the panoramic view across the orchard and see the masses of cherry blossoms.”

Durham says “Along with other local growers, we hope to see a strong crop ahead of this year’s festival.  For the most part we are now relying on bees to pollinate the fruit, combined with a hope for good weather in the coming weeks.”

Along with Durham’s Naturipe Fruits, other local orchardists participating in the festival include Jeff Jones Plants & Produce, as well as Paynes Orchards.

Says David Durham “For everyone planning to experience the full Trail which already includes over 20 local experiences , we are pleased to offer a complimentary Strawberry mini shuttle bus service that will stop every 15minutes or thereabouts along the Trail starting off outside the Bacchus Marsh V/Line Station”

Other exciting festival activities include cherry pip spitting competitions, wine & cider tasting, live music, fireworks, horse carriage rides, crafts, strawberry and cherry inspired menus, along with a showcase of local heritage, arts & history. The magnificent Australia Fair Grand Concert Organ returns, alongside new festival features including a Saturday night strawberry and cherry themed progressive dinner, and the new jam making and baking competitions.

When: Saturday 17th & Sunday 18th November, 2012

Where: Bacchus Marsh Township, Various venues

Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10am til 5pm.  Saturday night 6pm til 11pm

Check the website for details: www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au



***For Immediate Release*** Tuesday 6 March 2012

Where Wine & Feet Must Meet

A purple foot phenomenon is set to hit Bacchus Marsh on Sunday 18 March with the arrival of the Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival.  This annual event held on the third Sunday in March is run by the independent and not for profit Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association.

The Festival celebrates locally grown Harvest heroes including apples, pears, lavender, rhubarb and strawberries; and last but not least, the deliciously plump purple grape.

Further to the Festival’s highly popular free bus and tag-along tours to local farms, a key festival drawcard is the Annual Barefoot Grape Stomp.  At 2.30pm on Sunday 18 March, aspiring barefoot stompers will line up at the award winning Bacchus Hill Winery ready to stand in a half-barrel and see if they can produce the most grape juice within a three minute period.

“Three minutes doesn’t sound like a long time” says Bacchus Hill winemaker Bruno Tassone, “but most people tire towards the end. Grape stomping is a physically demanding task.  Not to mention that whilst you are trying to produce the most ‘must’ (juice with the skins) you have a competitor lined up in another barrel right next to you, eyeing you off”

The winner is determined based on the amount of juice that drains into a bucket below the barrel. Then, depending on the quality and sugar levels of the grapes harvested that morning, the juice from the stomp is often developed into commercial quality wine which is later made available for sale.

Tassone says “Some people are a bit squeamish when it comes to feet, however barefoot grape stomping is an age old and proven method for producing wine. All entrants must wash their feet before stepping in to the barrel and we check for any cuts or skin conditions.  The wine created from the grape stomp is always a best seller and sells out very quickly”

To take part in the Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival Grape Stomp at Bacchus Hill Winery, entrants are encouraged to register as soon as they arrive at the winery on the day.  Bacchus Hill Winery: 100 O’Connell Road, Bacchus Marsh.

For more information about free Harvest Festival bus tours, competitions, locations and harvest menus go to www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au

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***For immediate release***   Wednesday 22nd February, 2012

Marsh On To Tastes of Bacchus

What: Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival
When: Sunday 18th March 2012
Where: Bacchus Marsh township, Ballan & Mt Egerton
Info: www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au

Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association has announced its event program ahead of the annual Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival taking place on Sunday 18th March, 2012

The 2012 program includes the return of free bus and self-drive Meet the Grower Tours, along with barefoot grape-stomping, harvest menus, farm gate tastings and sales, as well as a gumboot throwing competition.

As the event celebrates its 5th birthday, a new feature also includes a new self-guided Bacchus Marsh Town Centre Walking Tour, amidst town centre entertainment and a produce swap.

Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association President David Durham says: ”Bookings are required for seats on our free bus tours; tag-along cars can show up on the day. ”

Guests on Bus 1 ‘Tastes of Bacchus’ will tour through the historic Bacchus Marsh Avenue of Honour, meeting growers at Naturipe strawberry farm, the Jones’ apple orchard and then the Tassone’s vineyard – award winning Bacchus Hill Winery for tastings, music, apple pie judging and barefoot grape-stomping. 

Guests on Bus 2 ‘Hidden Treasures of the West’ (sponsored by Ballan & District Chamber of Commerce) will visit the Yuulong Lavender Estate where they will taste lavender tea and biscuits whilst hearing about the differences between edible and ornamental lavenders. Bus 2 also visits the Ballan community kitchen garden, and ‘Allawah’ Vegetable Farm along picturesque Werribee Vale Road, with the opportunity to meet popular local artist Janice Webster. Bus 2 also has a winery option.

Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association’s David Durham says that the success and growth of the Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival is due to lots of volunteer hours, community-minded sponsors, and the building of positive relationships with other like-minded volunteer groups.

“By working together with many other local volunteer groups, along with our sponsors, we have been able to grow the Harvest Festival to include many new features and competitions. The new self-guided walking tour which will provide a whole of Bacchus Marsh town centre experience - linking cafes, crafts, wellness, town heritage and even a produce swap, from the Visitor Information Centre right through to the Catholic Museum which holds links with Mary MacKillop. A very easy 1.5km return walk.  Visitors will enjoy a wealth of Harvest themed entertainment with thanks to Central Business Bacchus Marsh”

The print version of the event program will be available from Thursday 1st March at the Bacchus Marsh Visitor Information Centre and all participating businesses, and will include a map detailing all tour times and locations. 

Detailed information on bus tours, town entertainment and Meet The Grower experiences can be found at www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au .

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***For immediate release***   Thursday 16th February, 2012

Apple Pie On High

In the lead up to the 5th Annual Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival, the town is literally feeling the heat as entrants get their ovens started ahead of the 2012 Best Apple Pie Search.

The competition forms part of the annual Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival, taking place on the third weekend in March each year. The event is run by the independent and not for profit Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association Inc.

Celebrating its 5th year on Sunday 18th March, 2012, the event provides locals and visitors to Bacchus Marsh and surrounds, the opportunity to step behind the farm gate, meet the growers, and learn more about what it takes to run a successful orchard, vineyard, market garden, and more.

For those wishing to exercise their competitive streak, the Best Apple Pie Search is a healthy way to contribute to the Festival and to showcase quality baking whilst celebrating a Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival Hero – the humble apple.
The Apple Pie competition is judged by well-known Bacchus Marsh local and Cake Decorating School of Australia founder Ian Pertzel.

Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association President David Durham says “ We are very fortunate to have Ian Pertzel back again as our best apple pie judge. Ian was kept extremely busy last year in the wake of fierce competition across dozens of entries.  A tense line of very proud and anxious apple pie cooks were there to watch Ian as he judged pastry, apples and all.   2012 will be another exciting year with even more entries and we can’t wait to see who takes the cake during this year’s Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival”

To enter, simply download an entry form from www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au

There are two categories.  Junior up to the age of 17, and 18+ which is an open category for home cooks through to pastry chefs.

Judging takes place each year at 2pm on the third Sunday in March each year at Bacchus Hill Winery & Restaurant, 100 O’Connell Road, Bacchus Marsh.
Bacchus Hill Winery are a founding member of the Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association, and key participants in the Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival also hosting the extremely popular barefoot grape stomp. They produce award winning wines, ciders, local food, and are situated high above the Bacchus Marsh valley offering picturesque views across the vineyard and township.

The Annual Bacchus Marsh Harvest Festival takes place at various locations across the township. To find out more and how to book free bus tour seats, go to www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au

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***For immediate release***   Wednesday 9th November, 2011

Practise the Pip Spit Pucker

Just ten days out from the fifth annual Strawberries and Cherries Weekend and the Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association is encouraging visitors to pucker up and prepare for a fantastic event, celebrating its fifth year in 2011.

The Strawberries & Cherries Weekend celebrates the arrival of the strawberry and cherry season along the historic Avenue of Honour and throughout Bacchus Marsh.

Cherry Pip Spitting will be held at Jeff Jones Plants & Produce and judged by owner Glenda Jones.  Glenda says ‘Local cherries are already in season and we will have ample amounts set aside for cherry pip spitting. We encourage visitors to pucker up and have a go as they meander along the Strawberries & Cherries Trail, collecting trail stamps on their event programs to go into the draw for delicious local produce prizes and more”

Jenny Tassone, from Bacchus Hill Winery says a family friendly Saturday evening is lined up for those looking to relax after a busy day of pip spitting and experiencing the Strawberries & Cherries Trail, “For just a gold coin entry (donated to local Rotary), the Tourism Association along with Don Watson Transport, has organised an evening to remember. Bring a picnic blanket and picnic basket (no BYO alcohol) and kick back on the lawned area. As the sun sets over the valley, you can enjoy live rock n roll music by the Bar Bandits. The kids will love the giant jumping castle and face painting as they await the spectacular fireworks display at 9pm”
Venue: Bacchus Hill Winery - entry via O’Connell Road.  Gates open from 5pm”

Along with the usual favourites, such as fruit picking and strawberry & cherry inspired menus, other event features include even more live music throughout the weekend, including the magnificent 7 metre long, 3 metre high Australia Fair Grand Concert Organ on Sunday 20th.  Main Street Bacchus Marsh will play host to musicians Victoriana Gaye, Jules Hutcheson, Nice Verdes, and Jimi Nare at various locations from 10 til 4 on Sunday.

The full event program & trail map, including details of the free bus circuit, are available now at all participating outlets across Bacchus Marsh, and at the Bacchus Marsh Visitor Information Centre.  Also online at www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au

When: Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th November, 2011

Where: Bacchus Marsh Township, Various venues

Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10am til 5pm.  Saturday night 6 -10pm

For questions or additional photos and photo opportunities, please contact Tina Seirlis, Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association 0400 145 558

 

***For immediate release*** Wednesday 26th October, 2011

Eat, drink & be cherry

The Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association has announced its 2011 event program for the

5th Annual Strawberries & Cherries Weekend taking place on 19th and 20th November.

The festival celebrates the arrival of strawberry and cherry season across the Bacchus Marsh food bowl, providing visitors with a trail map along which they can experience a myriad of strawberry and cherry activities. Activities include fruit picking, cherry pip spitting competitions, wine & cider tasting, live music, fireworks, horse carriage rides and strawberry and cherry inspired treats. www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au/strawberries-and-cherries/trail-details.html

The 2011 Strawberries & Cherries Weekend ups the ante on sweet decadence with a record number of local cafes, restaurants and bakeries offering local strawberry and cherry menus, treats and specials.

Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association Chair and strawberry farm owner David Durham says “A growing number of Bacchus Marsh cafes and restaurants are taking part over the weekend. Visitors along the strawberry and cherry trail come in to experience our country lifestyle and to taste the abundance of locally grown strawberries & cherries. That might be via pick your own activities, or spending the afternoon at our local eateries”

A sample of this sweet tooth heaven includes house-made strawberry and cherry pies at Mona’s Café along the Avenue of Honour, a themed menu at Bacchus Hill Winery & Restaurant, strawberry petit fors at Angelo’s Bakery, strawberry & cherry cakes and muffins at the eclectic Baby Black Café, hot waffles with local strawberries at Cones n Candy, strawberry & cherry iced cupcakes at Floralevent, and sparkling with local strawberries at Flanagans Hotel.

Ballarat & Daylesford region 2011 Golden Plate Award winners Burke’s On Main will be offering a special Saturday night festival menu.

Says David Durham “For those who are planning to eat their way around our beautiful town, we are pleased to offer a complimentary Strawberry mini shuttle bus service that will stop every 15minutes or thereabouts along the Trail starting off outside the Bacchus Marsh V/Line Station. We encourage visitors to come out on the festival weekend, grab a Strawberries & Cherries Trail map, make use of the shuttle, and experience the beauty of Bacchus Marsh”

When: Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th November, 2011
Where: Bacchus Marsh Township, Various venues
Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10am til 5pm.  Saturday night 7pm til 10.00pm
Check the website for details: www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au

 

 

***For immediate release***   Wednesday 5th October, 2011

 

Strawberries & Cherries Countdown Commences

When: Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th November, 2011
Where: Bacchus Marsh Township, Various venues
Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 10am til 5pm.  Saturday night 5pm til 10.00pm

Just six weeks out and counting - the not for profit Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association is pleased to announce that this year’s Strawberries and Cherries Weekend will be even bigger, better and brighter.

The Annual Strawberries & Cherries Weekend - Bacchus Marsh takes place on the third weekend in November each year, this year failing on the 19th and 20th of November.  The festival celebrates the arrival of the strawberry and cherry season along the historic Avenue of Honour and throughout Bacchus Marsh.

Bacchus Marsh Tourism Association Chair David Durham says that in 2011 the Tourism Association has focused on continued event growth, whilst staying true to the spirit of previous years.

“Following the success of the 2010 event and the achievement of 5000 visitors over the course of that weekend, we had a tough job ahead of us.  We are really thankful to again have a great group of sponsors on board, which means we can continue to provide many free family friendly activities for our local community and visitors alike as they meander along the strawberries & cherries event trail”

New features for the 2011 festival will include even more live music throughout the weekend, including the magnificent Australia Fair Grand Concert Organ. With a sound equivalent to a 20-piece band, the 7 metre long, 3 metre high organ will be a spectacular sight in the town centre on Sunday 20th November.

2011 also sees the introduction of the ‘Strawberries shuttle service’ with thanks to a grant from Moorabool Shire.  The free festival mini-bus shuttle service will be available from 9am til 5pm over the festival weekend improving access to festival locations for community and visitors.  A shuttle will appear every 15minutes at event locations, and seeks to link the entire town, from the V/Line Station, through to the town centre, the Avenue and the Bacchus Hill Winery. (Seats are not guaranteed and no bookings taken).

“We are very excited about the ability to link the town with the free shuttle service. We are fortunate to live in such a unique location; this beautiful valley with an abundance of fresh locally grown produce right at our doorsteps.  It’s something we can often take for granted. We encourage our local community to come out on the festival weekend, and to make use of the shuttle and to experience the beauty of Bacchus Marsh through a tourist’s eyes”

The festival will feature an exciting blend of the old and new, with the return of the strawberries and cherries trail competition, with lots of new businesses on board, along with strawberry picking, cherry pip spitting competition, strawberry & cherry inspired menus, town centre entertainers and musicians, horse and carriage rides (Sunday only), the breathtaking Australia Fair Organ (Sunday only) jumping castle, wine and cider tasting, scones, sausage sizzles, live music, crafts, historic displays, and more to be announced shortly.

And last but not least, David Durham says that the Saturday night fireworks and music event will be back, and has evolved to ensure it is even more accessible and family friendly. “For a gold coin donation we encourage local families to come up to Bacchus Hill Winery from 6pm on Saturday night. Bring a picnic blanket and picnic basket (no BYO alcohol) and enjoy the views and music as the sun sets over the valley.  At sunset we will see the night sky light up with a spectacular fireworks display”

The full Strawberries & Cherries Trail Map will be launched a fortnight prior to the festival. Keep an eye on the website for details as the full program continues to evolve.  www.visitbacchusmarsh.com.au/strawberries-and-cherries.html


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