The weird and wonderful festivals in the NT in July

The all-day event included boat races alongside thong throwing and sandcastle competitions

The all-day event included boat races alongside thong throwing and sandcastle competitions

This article was sponsored by Tourism NT.

​The bottom half of the country is shivering through winter but the Northern Territory is enjoying long warm days and balmy evenings. It’s the perfect conditions for the vibrancy and energy of festivals and events, which is exactly what’s going down in July. The month is bursting with weird and wonderful festivals – here’s a round up.

1. Alice Springs Beanie Festival, 24 June - 16 July 

The Alice Springs Beanie Festival is a community- based event that began in 1997 with a ‘beanie party’, organised by Adi Dunlop.

The Alice Springs Beanie Festival is a community- based event that began in 1997 with a ‘beanie party’, organised by Adi Dunlop.

It’s an entire festival devoted to warm knitted headwear in the middle of the Australian desert – sounds a little odd, but the Alice Springs Beanie Festival is a vibrant and colourful celebration of indigenous culture mixed in with modern art and design that attracts thousands.

The festival originally began as an opportunity for Aboriginal women in remote communities to sell their creations but has grown to become a celebration of all kinds of art and design, though the aim remains the same – develop Aboriginal women’s textiles, promote womens’ culture and the beanie as a regional art form, as well as promote handmade textile arts

See more here.

2. Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta, 9 July 

The annual Beer Can Regatta first began in 1974 as a way to clean up beer cans littering local streets

The annual Beer Can Regatta first began in 1974 as a way to clean up beer cans littering local streets

Imagine scores of tinnies setting sale on an epic voyage from Darwin’s Mindil Markets… all constructed from hundreds of empty beer cans. The combined Lions Clubs have run the family-friendly event every year since 1978, and these days hundreds flock to the coast to take part in the fun. 

The day is chock full of exciting events including the Battle of Mindil, described as “the boat race where anything goes; flour bombs, water sprays...”. Teams are encouraged to sail a course and find a hidden object, but beware pirates who can pillage the prize. When you’re ready to dock, grab a feed next door at the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets.

See more here.

​3. Royal Darwin Show, 27 - 29 July

The Royal Darwin Show is celebrating its 66th year with 'Year of the Rooster'

The Royal Darwin Show is celebrating its 66th year with 'Year of the Rooster'

Spread across three action-packed days, the Royal Darwin Show is a celebration of entertainment, showcase, competition and education. All the usual features of a fair will be in show, including a wide variety of showbags, friendly farm animals and carnies with their vertigo-inducing rides. 

The main arena features a variety of horse events including dressage, showjumping and polocrosse, while the sideshow alley will hold rides and entertainment. 

The show closes on Saturday night with a ‘fireworks to music’ spectacular.

See more here.

5. Darwin Fringe Festival, 7 – 16 July

The Darwin Fringe Festival is a initiative that encourages experimentation, artistic risk, and new creative voices.

The Darwin Fringe Festival is a initiative that encourages experimentation, artistic risk, and new creative voices.

The Darwin Fringe Festival is a hodgepodge of arty types enjoying their quirkiness and talents across a ten day period. Self described as “showcasing work in every genre you can think of (and a few that might be made up)”, the Darwin Fringe Festival is a community arts festival with a little bite.

The Fringe creates a vibrant and happening Hub for artists and punters to enjoy, and an exciting and cohesive festival sprawling across the city. The program includes theatre, cabaret, comedy, visual art, spoken word, music, film and digital, and workshops. Check it out here.

See more here.

This article was sponsored by Tourism NT.