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Rosella Festival

Rosellas have proven a popular drawcard for this festival in Adelaide River, where the wild, red hibiscus is plentiful and locals make handmade goods year-round.

“We do a lot of things with rosella. People make jam, roll-ups, fruit wraps. I’ve even put it into cakes,” says festival founder and co-ordinator Margaret Wardrope.

Starting off with a poet’s breakfast at the historic Adelaide River Inn, up to 30 stall holders will then set up in the grounds, selling craft and rosella products.

The rosella is the calyx of the Hibiscus sabdariffa, a deep pink-red pod that lends a subtle, fruity flavour and floral aroma when soaked or cooked.

As the rosella season is in early May, Wardrope says people make their preserves in advance to sell at the festival, as well as offer the dried petals as tea.

“This year one of our stallholders planted a huge paddock of rosella…a lot of people grow it for their own use,” says Wardrope.

This year the festival is raising money for the NT Cancer Council and will have a monster auction at midday, with raffle prizes that could include accommodation, tourist trips and of course, rosella jam.

Fri 28 Jul | 8.30am-3pm | Adelaide River Inn

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