The 2012 Kings Park Festival was once again a huge success with an enormous range of events and activities held during September, attracting thousands of visitors from all walks of life. This year’s festival was themed 'Wildflowers in Focus', in celebration of Western Australian native flora.
Kings Park’s spectacular wildflower displays took centre stage and visitors marvelled at their beauty in the State’s Botanic Garden. This season’s display of wildflowers were 12 months in the making and Kings Park’s horticultural staff nurtured over 3,000 different plant species drawn from the South-west, Goldfields, Gascoyne, Murchison and Kimberley regions.
The State Botanic Garden was abuzz with talented local and interstate acts that featured on the main stage as part of the Santos Live Sunday’s music program. Visitors enjoyed picnics while relaxing in the Botanic Garden to the sounds of relaxing springtime music. The Santos Live Sunday’s program culminated with the popular Everlasting Jazz Picnic where thousands of visitors danced along to some of the Perth Jazz Society’s most gifted musicians, including the 'Allira Wilson Trio', 'Backlash', and 'the Tan Cohen Quartet'. Sincere appreciation is extended to Santos for supporting this wonderful program across four big weekends.
The Kings Park wildflower characters, the 'Adorable Florables' were also back for another year, with a comical new show in the Botanic Garden and in the Lotterywest Family Area. Children and adults alike joined the frivolity as Kings Park’s very own life-sized wildflowers prepared themselves for a special visit by the royal photographer. Thank you to Santos for supporting this entertaining and educational community production.
The Kings Park Festival and UWA Extension collaborated for the first time in 2012 to deliver a unique selection of educational workshops for the community. These included The 'Art of Propagation' and the follow up 'The Art of Grafting', presented by Kings Park nursery specialist Amanda Shade and botanical inspired art workshop Linocut Flowers by Shana James.
The Kings Park Volunteer Master Gardeners’ 'Dig it With Coffee' information sessions were also a popular event held every Wednesday throughout the month, in addition to the many guided walks held throughout the Botanic Garden and Bold Park in September.
Kings Park’s own Aspects of Kings Park Gallery Shop was an artistic hub during the Festival month. Visitors were treated to an impressive display of native bonsais, amazing window art and a rare glimpse of artists at work. Glass artist, Jill Yeland, opened the program with a beautiful display of wildflower inspired works, followed by unique exhibition of paintings by Brian Simmons.
The Friends of Kings Park had another hugely successful plant sale, selling more than 18,000 native plants over the Festival’s final three day weekend. The plants sold were lovingly cultivated and grown by the group’s many volunteers over a 12 month period. All funds from the sale go directly towards supporting research and special projects in Kings Park and Botanic Garden. Be sure to visit future native plant sales.
This special family day celebrated traditional Nyoongar culture with a range of fun Indigenous activities. Visitors immersed themselves in traditional didgeridoo and dance performances participated in arts and craft activities and listened to some of Australia’s most talented Indigenous musicians.
Visitors also had the opportunity to stroll along the Boodja Gnarning Self Guided Walk – exploring the Nyoongar ways of living off the land, the traditional use of trees and plants for food, tools, medicine and their cultural significance. Thank you to the Friends of Kings Park and Lotterywest for supporting this wonderful event.
The 2012 Quiz on Legs event was a grand success despite the inclement weather, with hundreds of school children converging on the Western Australian Botanic Garden for a fun and informative day out. Students from all areas of Perth enjoyed the presentations of 30 leading eco-education organisations, theatre show performances, traditional Nyoongar storytelling and bantering with Kings Park’s Adorable Florables. The annual School Poster exhibition was a highlight for many students and their families who marveled at the large, colourful display of school artworks showcased over the month of September. Visit the Kings Park Education page on the website for more information on school events held in Kings Park and the State’s Botanic Garden throughout the year.
Thousands of little fairies, pixies, elves and wizards packed the Lotterywest Family Area for the 2012 Wild Fairyland Festival and enjoyed a jam-packed day of fun activities including magic tricks, pony rides, face painting and ribbon dancing. Wishes were granted by the Fairy Queen, the Adorable Florables lit up the stage with their joyful jestering and the Eco Faeries spread their environmental message on what was a magical event for the young at heart. Major Festival Partner Santos supported this fun community event and this support is very much appreciated.
The 2012 Kings Park Festival celebrated spring with some great competitions. We congratulate all our lucky winners. In particular, the winner of our major prize: Chris Tate of Leschenault, who won the 'Wildflowers in Focus' photography competition. Mr Tate’s entry was selected from over 500 entries by a judging panel of horticultural specialists and photography experts. The winning image captured an ant on Drosera porrecta; a native plant to south-west Western Australia taken in Manea Park, College Grove, Bunbury. To view the top 21 finalists, please visit our online gallery. Thank you to The West Australian newspaper, Australia’s South West and Australia's Golden Outback for their support of these competitions.
On behalf of Kings Park and Botanic Garden, we wish to thank all the wonderful staff, volunteers and corporate partners for their commitment and contribution to the 2012 Kings Park Festival. Over 500,000 people visited Kings Park during Wildflower September, enjoying the fabulous program of activities, exhibits, free family entertainment and the wonderful native wildflowers. The support of all those involved and the enthusiasm of the wider community has made this year’s festival a fantastic success.