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Fremantle invites you to come to the fire

Ed

Fremantle Festival returns this year with a series of events bringing people together in a celebration of community. Immerse yourself in the colour and pageantry of the Blessing of the Fleet, discover the beauty of Australian Indigenous culture at Wardarnji or bring the family down to a blaze on the beach with the return of Kraken.

Wardarnji is a dynamic experience of Nyoongar storytelling and dance.

For the first time, the City of Fremantle presents Karla-k Koorling, Come to the Fire, inviting audiences to gather around many fires to enjoy intimate performances, including song, spoken word, puppetry and dance. This is a taste of what’s to come, with the Fremantle Festival set to move to the depths of winter in 2019, with a ten-day immersive experience of wild art and hidden treasures. Intimate spaces, port history and cosy corners make Fremantle an ideal place for a winter festival.  This year’s three-day festival format will pave the way for the transition to an expanded ten-day format in winter in 2019. 

Now in its 113th year, Fremantle Festival is Australia’s longest running festival and continues to evolve as a celebration of one of the most unique cities in the world and its extraordinary community. 

Wardarnji26 October, 6.30 pm (gates open 5.30 pm), Fremantle Arts Centre

Let the beauty of the oldest songs, dances and language in the world transport you to another place, as fires burn long into the evening and people come together to celebrate Indigenous Australian culture. Wardarnji is a dynamic experience of Nyoongar storytelling and dance.

Blessing of the Fleet28 October, from 2 pm, procession begins at St Patrick’s Basilica

Watch the pageantry and splendour of the Blessing of the Fleet as this annual procession makes its way from St Patrick’s Basilica to Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, culminating in a spectacular fireworks display at 8 pm. The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities to ensure a safe and bountiful fishing season. First celebrated in WA by an Italian migrant fisherman, the historical port of Fremantle has been the backdrop to the tradition for 70 years.

Kraken3 November, from 1 pm, Bathers Beach & Arthur Head

Kraken is a blaze on Bather’s Beach centered around the Kraken effigy – a sea monster emerging from the sands. Kraken is a free community event that delivers a small taste of the Blazing Swan Festival presented by the Fremantle based Blazing Swan Inc. Each year this not-for-profit organisation produces the regional Burning Man in Kulin, Western Australia. Surrounding Bather’s Beach the Blazing Swan theme camps offer entertainment and food. 

You are invited to wander the fires enjoying the elements and the voices of Fremantle.

Karla-k Koorling, Come to the Fire3 November, from 6 pm, Maritime Tafe Carpark, Fleet Street

As the sun sets over the Indian Ocean we will light fires to bring together the people of Fremantle. Between the river and sea we will gather, the fires will light the way, keep us warm and centre our community stories. Each fire will host a performance of song, spoken word, puppetry or dance. You are invited to wander the fires enjoying the elements and the voices of Fremantle.

The 2018 Fremantle Festival will run on 26 October, 28 October and 3 November, with a series of free community events. For more information, visit – fremantlefestival.com.au

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