SARDINES come to mind at the thought of 15,000 people descending on Fremantle’s King’s Square.

But Fremantle Festival organiser Alex Marshall doubts all those promising on Facebook to come along to the Food Truck Stop run will turn up.

“I don’t really think we will get that many on the day, but it shows the appeal,” he grins.

Australia’s oldest festival kicks off with a free concert Friday, October 23.

On Saturday, 15 food trucks will add to the colourful ambience in Kings Square, which plays festival central for the first time: “It will be the hub…it’s the place to start your festival journey,” arts and culture manager Pete Stone says.

Daily activities include tai chi and drawing classes under the Moreton Bay figs, ballroom dancing demonstrations, and public art. As the sun goes over the yard arm, the Pegleg pop-up bar will open with gourmet pizza and vino, only closing after the last show in the town hall ends.

The Over the Fence Comedy Film Festival joins the opening weekend with a host of side-splitting short movies on the theme It’s a Big Bad World Out There at Luna on SX October 23–25. The town hall will host a stellar line up with the likes of Katie Noonan, Abbe May and comedian Sami Shah.

The Norfolk Lanes Youth Festival spills over to the Esplanade skate park with live music and dance competitions. The Wardarnji Aboriginal Cultural Festival has moved to a new evening time with displays of indigenous music and dance in the grounds of the Fremantle Arts Centre.

The Children’s Fiesta returns for a jam-packed day of entertainment and activities from face painting to live performances. And Jazz in the Park will bring the sound of old school funk and soul to Samson Park.

For the first time this year’s closing parade will march through the High Street Mall to finish in Kings Square, as will the annual Blessing of the Fleet.  And there’s a host of community happenings: “All the events the community want to run for themselves…we have 96 this year,” Mr Marshall says. The festival runs October 23 to November 1. For the full program go to


18. PLC 20x7

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