Celebrate Australian art and culture at the quirky, weekend-long Alice Springs Beanie Festival. This unique event began in 1997 as a beanie party organised by a group of friends in an effort to sell beanies crafted by Aboriginal women in remote areas. Since then, it has grown into an annual festival where both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal artists can exhibit their creations and share their culture and stories.
The Beanie Festival strives to showcase the textile creations of Aboriginal women, exhibit women’s culture, and promote handmade textiles, with a focus on the beanie as a regional art form. It is a community event, and the sheer level of community participation, along with the organisers’ relationships with various local Aboriginal organisations are what make the event unique. 150 volunteers work tirelessly to run the festival, which attracts over 7,000 visitors from around the world. Over 500 beanie makers from all around Australia and further afield contribute over 7,000 handmade beanies.
Visitors can shop for beautiful, unique beanies created by independent artists, and celebrate the winners of the beanie competition. Furthermore, there are free workshops available where guests can learn to make a variety of textiles including beanies, baskets and more, from inspiring and talented crafters. As well as plenty of beanies, there is fantastic live entertainment, delicious tucker from an array of community food stalls, and a bar where you can quench your thirst. Entry is free with a gold coin donation, meaning you can save your dollars for beanies and snacks!