Freo heritage festival

• Working Voices choir will Bring out the Banners at the Fly by Night

• Working Voices choir will Bring out the Banners at the Fly by Night

FREMANTLE’S annual heritage festival kicked off yesterday (Friday May 9), for a seven day and night feast of exhibitions, shows, music and more.

The festival highlights the built and social heritage of Fremantle and neighbouring East Fremantle, and with a growing number keen to come on board is bigger and better, organiser Alex Marshall says.

“Events have really come from all over, from big organisations to small and individuals–it’s what gives the festival zing.”

The business end of town is on board with guided tours of the National and Hougoumont hotels (formerly the Workers Club on Bannister Street) and trendy cafe Bread in Common.

“[They] see Fremantle’s history, character and heritage makes good business sense,” Mr Marshall says.

Freo local Peter Vinci is running a Freo version of TV’s Antiques Road Show, plus a Freo-based quiz night (Wednesday May 14, at the Italian Club) to raise money to recognise former Mills and Wares biscuit factory workers.

Rather than a wall of names, he’s hoping for biscuit-shaped seats in M&W park on Wardie Street.

Find out if that vase Aunty Maude bequeathed is a priceless antique at Victoria Hall, Saturday May 10, 10am–4pm, where you can check out Mr Vinci’s amazing selection of old Freo photos–or bring your own to add to his online collection.

Union songs will raise the rafters at the Fly By Night Club, Saturday May 17, as the Working Voices Choir celebrates 25 years.

Formed in 1989, with strong Labor connections, the choir’s Bring Out the Banners is a blend of stories, songs, visuals and actions celebrating unions in Fremantle, and beyond.

Notre Dame is holding a series of talks, including Fremantle: The Last Outpost of Empire, by maritime museum curator Mikel McCarthy (Sunday May 11), and a look at the colony’s criminal women.

Head to Kings Square Saturday for a mouthwatering display of vintage and classic motorbikes, bicycles and prams.

With 31 pages of things to do, see and hear, check the program on Fremantle council’s website. The festival winds up May 18.


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