New Illawarra Flame Tree Festival runs from July 29 to August 20

GREEN THUMBS: Ian McColm, Juliet Scrine and Ben Roberts with baby Illawarra Flame Trees and a drone that will take flight during a new festival. Picture: Sylvia Liber
GREEN THUMBS: Ian McColm, Juliet Scrine and Ben Roberts with baby Illawarra Flame Trees and a drone that will take flight during a new festival. Picture: Sylvia Liber

Theatre, gardening, music and fire all form part of the region’s newest event, the Illawarra Flame Festival, from July 29 to August 20.

Festival co-ordinator Juliet Scrine said its aim is to celebrate the region’s iconic tree and how fire and flame affect the area while they plan to run it for at least seven years – the amount of time a flame tree takes to flower from seed.

“We see this as a citizen’s science project, looking at becoming more aware of where we live and planting flame trees,” Ms Scrine said.

“We could generate interest [in the region] like the Jacaranda festival in Grafton or Floriade in Canberra with the tulips, the cherry-blossoms in Japan. You know, people travel to look at beautiful trees.”

Picture: Andy Zakeli

Picture: Andy Zakeli

Events will be held at the Science Centre in Fairy Meadow as well as the Wollongong Botanic Garden, Maddens Plains and Mount Keira Scout Camp.

Some activities within the festival include a propogation workshop on how to grow a flame tree from seed and cuttings; free guided bushwalks; a preview of a new theatre play; presentations on the science behind bushfire; fire twirling and chilli tastings.

It will culminate with a full-day program on August 20 with theatrical performances; Indigenous culture presentations; art workshops; 3D printing; circus performances; live music and more.

The festival was made possible by a grant from Inspiring Australia, a national body dedicated to encouraging engagement with the sciences. 

For more information email: juliet@egtc.com.au