By Lachlan Ellis
The countdown is on for the 121st Blackwood Woodchop & Easter Carnival, and with a new award under their belt, the Carnival’s organisers are hoping for a record crowd.
In January, the action-packed event took out Moorabool Shire’s Community Event of the Year award, adding to the pride Blackwoodians feel welcoming people from out of town to the Carnival.
The much-loved Street Parade will lead attendees from Blackwood’s town centre this Saturday, down to the Lerderderg River and the Recreation Reserve – rightfully known as “the prettiest sportsground in Victoria” – where the Carnival and Woodchop will take place.
The action-packed event will feature live music, market stalls, tug-of-war, gumboot throwing, a pet show, gold-panning, a treasure hunt, and races – and that’s just scratching the surface.
The Carnival is run by the local non-profit Blackwood Progress Association, with proceeds injected back into the community.
President of the Blackwood Progress Association, Brendan Hehir, said April is always an exciting time in Blackwood.
“We are really excited, because last year we basically welcomed tourists back for the first time in two years. We were thrilled to have around 4200 people turn up, it meant so much to Blackwood. We live on tourism here, and we understand that without tourists we’d be in trouble,” Mr Hehir told the Moorabool News.
“We’ve certainly publicised our Community Event of the Year award far and wide, it’s a great honour and a terrific badge to pin on ourselves. Awards like that aren’t handed out for nothing, we understand this is a great event and we believe we only get better and better as the years go on.”
As for where this year’s proceeds will go, Mr Hehir said a range of groups and events were funded by the Carnival’s popularity, but there was one project in particular that would be “first cab off the rank”.
“Thanks to Moorabool Shire Council, we have an upgraded tennis court, and they’ve added to one of the tennis courts a netball court. This is the first time we’ve had a netball court in Blackwood, and there are a number of local young mums who are very excited. They want to fit it out, we need to get equipment for it, and they’ve approached Progress. We’ll be fielding a team before too long,” he said.
“We also support concerts, film nights, that sort of thing…and we’ve also helped a couple of families in need struggling through minor disasters, fires and things like that. We’ve had the funds available to help them out immediately. We’ve also agreed to support the next Blackwood Bush Dance, which is a major event for the town.”
Discounted Earlybird tickets can be bought online in advance at www.trybooking.com/CFPDV, or you can purchase tickets at the gate on the day.
Earlybird tickets are just $12.50 for adults (16 years and older), while children 15 and under can attend for free.
For more information, visit www.theblackwoodtimes.com.au/2023-blackwood-woodchop-easter-carnival.