Huge crowds enjoy Arts In The Olives festival

THOUSANDS of people ate, drank, danced and drummed the day away when the popular Arts In The Olives festival took place in Scenic Rim on Sunday. 

Held in the picturesque Lost World Valley near Darlington, Arts In The Olives 2016 was themed ‘Stories and Stones’ and celebrated indigenous culture through art, food and storytelling.

Organisers believe more than 2500 people wandered through the gates of Worenda Olive Grove for the festival, with several stallholders telling the Times the 2016 event was the busiest yet.

Guests were able to choose from 21 different workshops in which to take part, including blacksmithing, flute-making, needle felting, painting, wood-carving, yoga, sculpting and jewellery-making.

There was plenty of action at the food stalls as guests tucked into a range of homemade fare, including woodfired pizza, ice-cream, meat sticks, German sausages, cakes and slices, juices and jams.

Musicians and youth theatre group Zest also performed throughout the day.

Away from the action amid the olive grove, dozens of children made the most of the perfect weather by taking a dip in the headwaters of the Albert River, which runs through the property.

Shaded by rainforest, parents watched on from the banks of the river while enjoying a cold drink or some of the fine food on offer at the festival.

Gold Coast resident Jane Irvine was full of praise for the Arts In The Olives festival.

“There was just so much versatility, there was entertainment for the adults, there was entertainment for the kids,” she said.

“The workshops were so different, so unusual, but such good quality and unlike anything you would see on the Gold Coast.”

Jann Alcorn, attending Arts In The Olives for the first time, said she could not have been more impressed and would return next year.

“Everything was easy to get involved with, the food was fabulous, the craftsmanship was incredible,” she said. 

“It truly covered everything our hearts could desire.”

The popular festival is due to celebrate its 10th birthday in 2017.