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Alice Springs Beanie Festival

Winters are cold in Alice Springs – but that only partly explains the incredible popularity and inventive loopiness of the Alice Springs Beanie Festival

Around seven thousand beanies have been sent in from Australia and around the world for this year’s beanie extravaganza, including from Canada, Holland, Germany, the US, New Zealand and Japan.

“Japanese beanies are beautiful,” says Chief Beaniologist Jo Nixon. “They’re finely knitted and crocheted and well-finished.”

A growing number people from overseas enter the National Beanie Competition every year says Nixon, with the cream of the crocheted crop featuring in a special exhibition, with this year’s theme of ‘weaving the magic’. 

“From the little old grannies sitting in Daylesford, Victoria, to a textile artist in Cairns doing a Phd, beanie makers are so diverse,” says Nixon.

In addition to the competition, Beanie Central at the Araluen Arts Centre remains the hub of all festival activities over the weekend, including more than 20 workshops.

For those itching to join the Alice locals sporting wild and wooly headgear for the weekend, Beanie Central has hundreds of handmade beanies priced from $5 to $120.

If you want to up the fashion stakes with an outrageous artistic creation from the national comp, prices range from $80 to $1000. 

“It’s a celebration of love, of handmade items, of textiles, of the arts,” says Nixon of the festival.  “It brings together the community, travellers, beanie makers, crafters. It encompasses a whole range of fantastic ideas – everything you can imagine a beanie can be.”

See the event listing.

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