An owl lantern lights up the festival night sky.
An owl lantern lights up the festival night sky.

Tumbulgum to come alive as River fest sparkles

THIS year's Tweed River Festival promises to be something special as the Tumbulgum community hosts the main event on Saturday, November 12, and celebrates 150 years of the village at the junction of the Tweed and Rous Rivers.

The entertainment program is packed full of great local artists performing on the main stage, in the Tumbulgum Hall, at Living Waters Church and along the river bank, all free to the community.

There'll be street performers Hoopla Circus and Roving Butterflies, face painting, balloon artists, weaving workshops by Helle Jorgensen, primitive skills demonstrations by Owen Builds the Fire, a guided Heritage Trail through Tumbulgum Village, historical display and more in the 1913 heritage-listed Tumbulgum Hall, river cruises with Mt Warning Tours and Endeavour Cruises, lantern workshop, and much more.


FAMILY FUN: Next month's Tweed River Festival will be   pretty special .
FAMILY FUN: Next month's Tweed River Festival will be pretty special .

Performers include Seven Deadly Swings, Lissy Stanton Band, Cadillac Rockers, Mohini Cox, Kazah Duo, Voice Weavers, Arte Gitana, and more.

The much-loved Tweed River Festival lantern parade starts at sunset.

The settlement of Tweed Junction was established in 1866 when land selections were made along the Tweed River. This year's festival theme, Join Us at The Junction, reflects the growth of the Tweed Valley and Tumbulgum community in the past 150 years.

Situated at the "meeting place of waters", the confluence of the Rous (north arm) and Tweed Rivers, the picturesque village of Tumbulgum makes an ideal setting for the Tweed River Festival, with Wollumbin Mt Warning a fitting backdrop.


A sun lantern shines at the river festival.
A sun lantern shines at the river festival.

Tumbulgum Community Association president Jenny Kidd said event theme Join Us at The Junction was an invitation to a party and also symbolised what she called "building a 21stcentury community in an historic village".

"Our community is fortunate to have the enthusiasm, talents, skills and support necessary to deliver a celebration we will all be proud of," Ms Kidd said

This event is supported by Tweed Shire Council.

When: Saturday, November 12

Cost: Free.

Where: Faith Bandler Park, Riverside Drive, Tumbulgum.


ONLY 350 people live in Tumblegum, and what the town is endeavouring to pull off with the 150th anniversary celebrations is "nothing short of amazing", according to project manager Robert Budd.

He's very pleased with the way things have panned out.

"Our original plans were extremely modest. A small celebration. There was a strong sense that we are only a small community, don't expect much from us!"

Robert, a retiree who returned to Tumblegum after working overseas for many years, said: "I found it a bit difficult to cope with, and I think others do too. There are some remarkably skilled people in the community. People are getting up and putting in the effort."

They started organising the celebrations in December "with no plan, no one managing it, and no money".

"Now all we're spending $60,000 on an afternoon."

They are expecting 1500 people for the event, and will use it to showcase what Tumblegum has to offer.

Among the Tumblegum specialties is local business Husk Distillers, which manufactures Ink Gin and will be serving gin and oysters at the tavern.

While there will be celebrations of the 150-year history of Tumblegum with the unveiling of a monument at Bluey Hill Park, on the original site of Tumblegum village on the northern bank of the river, there will be an emphasis on celebrating the present through local talent and looking to the future.

Robert and his team are now working on the logistics.

"It's a big influx for small town, it has to be handled carefully, we don't want to inconvenience locals."

And a few more volunteers to help out on the day would be appreciated.

The highlight will be the show on the river with the lantern parade, lanterns on traffic on the river, firewalkers and a laser show.


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