Light in Victoria’s lockdown: ‘We’ve turned Hurstbridge yellow’

Light in Victoria’s lockdown: ‘We’ve turned Hurstbridge yellow’

  • Residents were encouraged to get creative and make decorations for the town. Residents were encouraged to get creative in making decorations for the city to be painted and knitted yellow.
  • Carol Jenkinson explains that a pompom garden was planted in the middle, bunting of yellow and green was used to decorate the shops, and a dam with “little wattle fairies scarecrows.” Eliza, 3, enjoys the decorations in the township.
  • Hurstbridge is only an hour away from Melbourne CBD. Beck Shafer says it’s where ‘country meets city.’ She is seen here with Pippa, her 1-year-old daughter.
  • In the days when steam trains were still in use, people from Melbourne would picnic there. In 2004, the first Wattle Festival was held with the aim of bringing city-dwellers back to Hurstbridge. It was timed against the blooming of Hurstbridge’s beautiful flowers in August. 
  • Hurtsbridge is located within the last 15 km of Melbourne’s metropolitan region, while Murrindindi to the north is a regional local government area. The town was under a 5km-radius lockdown in 2020 and 2021 during the Wattle Festival.
  • The festival organizers had planned to hold smaller, Covid-safe festivals this year. However, when Victoria’s lockdown was extended, they decided that the focus should be on decorating the town.
  • Jenkinson said the decorations were a way to express yourself and be part of your community despite restrictions.

  • Shafer (pictured) says that the decorations in the town center, especially the yellow tree with pompoms, have created a “colorful focal point” and ‘brought back hope to Hurstbridge. The kids are playing with the pompoms, and people are drinking their coffee. You may think that life is normal when you are there.

  • Alongside the physical decorations, a virtual festival was also held. Miss Wattle taught residents how to make their yarn wattle decor.

  • Jenkinson said that as word spread about the decorations in Hurstbridge’s town, people from Port Melbourne, Doncaster, and Warrandyte rang and asked for craft kits and sent their decorations via postal service.

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