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Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival

Sat 11 February - Sun 26 February

Join the community of Orange, NSW and its surrounding villages in a week of bush poetry events for their annual Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival in February 2023.

Banjo Paterson was born in Orange on 17 February 1864 and what more fitting way to celebrate than to gather the best bush poets from across Australia in competition, entertainment and storytelling.

Put the dates in your diary and book accommodation early, as Orange has become a sought-after getaway destination. It offers great scenery, food and wine experiences, historic villages and lovely parks and gardens.

The program is constantly being updated, as the year goes on more events will be added.

For more information please visit: https://www.rotarycluboforange.org.au/banjo-paterson-australian-poetry-festival-2023/


Saturday 11 February

  • Banjo Paterson Cup at Epiroc Ladies Day
    • Horse race  meeting hosted by Racing Orange the week before the Festival, with a feature race to celebrate Banjo Paterson
    • Towac Park Racecourse, Canobolas Road, Orange
    • Complimentary tickets available at Yeoval Banjo Museum or at Orange360 office
    • Gates open at 12pm. No booking needed.

Fri 17 February 

  • Banjo’s birthday party (17 February 1864)
    • Banjo Paterson Park, Ophir Road, Orange
    • 6 pm to 8 pm
    • BBQ food on sale or BYO picnic and drinks.
    • BYO chairs.
    • Entertainment and opportunity for walk-up performances
    • Entry: free.
    • Contact: Elizabeth Griffin 0437 868 595

Sat 18 February

  • Poetry Brawl
    • 6.30  to 10.00 pm
    • Hosted by the Molong Advancement Group and the Freemasons Hotel
    • Contestants must perform a 1-minute original poem to include a secret phrase “been there before”
    • Good prizes
    • Judge is Robyn Sykes, award winning bush poet
    • Family Courtyard, Freemasons Hotel, Bank Street, Molong
    • Under 18: 7 pm to 8 pm; Open: 9 pm to 10 pm.
    • Under 18: Free; Open: entry $5. Guests free but booking essential
    • Book via Trybooking.com from 9 January 2023
    • Purchase dinner at the pub.
    • Contact: Jude Taylor 0405 021 265

Sun 19 February

  • Poets’ brunch and entertainment at Yeoval
    • Relax in the shade of the trees for real country hospitality.
    • Free entertainment and open mic for walk-up poetry and music.
    • Visit the Banjo Paterson – More than a Poet Museum
    • 43 Forbes Street, Yeoval.
    • 10 am start, no booking needed
    • Donation appreciated.
    • Contact: Alf Cantrell 0427 208 913
  • Afternoon tea at Boree Nyrang
    • From 4 pm
    • The property where Banjo’s grandparents used to live and where his mother grew up
    • Hosted by the Molong Historical Society
    • Booking details to come
    • Tour the ‘new’ house (1903), visit historic site, Billy  tea and damper for afternoon tea.
    • Entertainment by Australian performance bush poetry champion, Greg North
    • Dress up in your favourite Banjo character.
    • Contact: Elizabeth Griffin 0437 868 595

Mon 20 February and Tuesday 21 February

  • In-School bush poetry performances
    • Presented by Bush Poets Melanie Hall and Susie Carcary (Mel and Susie)
    • Free to schools
    • Book in with Debbie Smith 0488 107 123

Monday 20 February

  • The Life and Rhymes of Banjo Paterson Show and book launch

    • Three-times Australian champion bush poet, Gregory North, presents the history and selected verse of Orange’s most famous son – Banjo Paterson. The show is accompanied by visuals and his companion book will be launched on the night. Great entertainment.
    • at the Orange Senior Citizens and Pensioners Centre
    • 77 Kite Street, Orange (access and parking in the Woolworths’ Car Park)
    • 7.30 to 9 pm
    • $5 entry
    • Contact Greg North 0425 210 083
    • See www.gregorynorth.com.au for more about Greg.

Tue 21 February

  • Lunch at the Ironbark Hotel, Stuart Town
    • Stuart Town was originally named Ironbark – of “The Man from Ironbark fame”
    • Enjoy lunch and poetry at the historic Ironbark Hotel
    • Catch the XPT train from Orange at 12 noon and return to Orange at 4 pm
    • 12.30 pm to 3 pm
    • Bookings and train information: call Renee Wykes 0458 157 650

Wed 22 February

  • Breakfast and poetry
    • Performances by school students and walk-up poets
    • Drop in on your way to work or after your morning walk
    • Civic Centre South Court, 147 Byng Street, Orange
    • 8 am to 10 am
    • No booking needed
    • Contact: Len Banks 0428 459 117
    • Schools contact Debbie Smith 0488 107 123
  • Memory Workshop
    • Improve your memory for bush poetry, prose, song lyrics and plays with Melanie Hall and Susie Carcary
    • Come along to a workshop designed to give you tips and tricks to help improve your memorisation. Mel and Susie have identified a range of mnemonics and techniques to assist you in your efforts to expand your repertoire and memorise your original work. Come along for a fun session, bring pen and paper if you wish
    • Duntryleague Guesthouse, Woodward Street, Orange
    • 11 am to 1 pm
    • $10 per person
    • Contact: Len Banks 0428 459 117 to book in
  • Blackened Billy Verse Competition presentation
    • Announcement and presentation of the winners of the 33rd Annual verse writing competition
    • Combination in-room and Zoom attendance to accommodate entrants and enthusiasts from across Australia (Zoom link to come)
    • at the historic Duntryleague Guest House, Woodward Street, Orange
    • 3 pm
    • Information and entry form available at https://blackenedbillyversecompetition.com . Entries close 30 November 2022.
    • Contact: lux@blackenedbillyversecompetition.com
  • Wrath of Grapes

Thu 23 February

  • National Bush Poetry Performance Championship
    • Enjoy the best bush poets from across Australia perform in 4 categories of original (humorous and serious) and borrowed (traditional and modern) poems
    • This highly entertaining national competition is brought to Orange by the Australian Bush Poets Association and the Rotary Club of Orange.
    • Presentation of winners on Friday at 4 pm
    • To enter go to abpa.org.au/events.html
    • Judges are Melanie Hall, Susie Carcary and Greg North
    • at the Orange Ex Services Club, 231-243 Anson Street, Orange
    • 10 am to 5 pm
    • Audience entry by donation
    • Contact: Tim Sheed (ABPA) 0438 861 271 or Len Banks (Rotary) 0428 459 117

Fri 24 February

  • National Bush Poetry Performance Championship
    • Continued from Thur 23 February.
    • 10 am to 5 pm
  • Yarn Spinning Competition

    • The culmination of weekly yarn telling evenings during January and February
    • Relive the days of telling yarns around a campfire or at the bar.
    • 5-minute time limit on yarns and family friendly language.
    • Prizes donated by the Metropolitan Hotel.
    • Pub meals available to purchase.
    • Metropolitan Hotel, Corner of Anson and Byng Streets, Orange
    • 7 pm
    • Contact Joanne Murphy at the Metro 02 6369 1444

Sat 25 February

  • Youth poetry competition
    • Individual performance of original poetry by school students
    • Beaut family entertainment
    • Competition details and entry form available on-line at rotarycluboforange.org.au Competition entry free
    • at the Orange Regional Conservatorium of music, 73A Hill Street, Orange
    • 9 am to 12.30 pm
    • Audience entry by donation
    • Contact: Len Banks 0428 459 117
  • Open poetry competition
    • Individual performance of original poetry by adults not entering the National Championships
    • Beaut family entertainment
    • Competition details and entry form available on-line at rotarycluboforange.org.au Competition entry $10
    • at the Orange Regional Conservatorium of music, 73A Hill Street, Orange
    • 1 pm to 5 pm
    • Audience entry by donation
    • Contact: Len Banks 0428 459 117
  • Entertainment and walk-up poetry competition at the Cargo Inn
    • Fun and laughter with bush poetry performances
    • Come along with your own poem or a classic (4 Min Max.) to perform in the inaugural Cargo Cup
    • Judging by Bush Poets Mel and Susie
    • Cash prizes for best performance and best character
    • Free entry and the bar and bistro open at 5 pm
    • 34-38 Belmore Street, Cargo
    • 38 km from Orange on the Cargo/Canowindra Road
    • Contact accounts@cargoinn.com.au if you are bringing a poem
    • Sponsored by See Saw Wines & MSM Milling
  • Presentation of Deidre Penhall Memorial prize for Poetry
    • Announcement and presentation of winners of this inaugural poetry writing competition for young women
    • Competition details and entry form available on-line at rotarycluboforange.org.au Competition entry $10
    • Competition entries close 21 December 2022.
    • At the Cargo Inn in conjunction with the entertainment and walk-up poetry competition listed above.
    • Contact: Len Banks 0428 459 117

Sun 26 February

  • Rotary Community Market
    • Craft and produce market
    • Entertainment and open mic for poets
    • Stallholder bookings at rotarycluboforange.org.au
    • at the Orange Civic Centre Northcourt (Cnr. Peisley and March Streets)
    • 9 am to 2 pm
    • Entry by donation
    • Contact: Sue Patterson 0427 588 805
  • Strawhouse Sunset Banjo 2023
    • Join Meg & Justin of Strawhouse Wines and guest musicians, The Hip Replacements for chilled classics, some Banjo and a twang of banjo as we celebrate the Banjo Paterson Festival in and around the Strawhouse Tasting Room and Deck.
    • Ticket includes a welcome glass of wine and the band.
    • The Kiss Kitchen team will be dishing up some delectable treats to keep you fueled for the evening.Strawhouse Wines, Boree Lane, Orange5 pm – 8 pm
    • Book with Justin Byrne 0402 498 419


Sat 11 February
Sun 26 February
Event Category:


Orange, NSW 2800 Australia + Google Map


Local government area


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