The community of Bingara fell in love with the ABC’s energetic and passionate Gardening Australia presenter Costa Georgiadis when he visited Bingara late last year on a tour presented by Northern Slopes Landcare; it seems the feeling was mutual with Costa planning to return to Bingara with his father for this year’s Bingara Orange Festival on July 2.
‘This year’s Orange Festival will “Go Greek” in celebration of the Roxy’s 80th birthday and the contribution Greek immigrants made to rural NSW. It seemed like a perfect fit that we invited one of Australia best known Greeks, Costa back for the event’ said Georgia Standerwick, of Gwydir Shire Council. ‘Thanks to the assistance of the wonderful team at the Northern Slopes Landcare Association in Bingara, Costa was only too happy to accept the invitation’ said Georgia.
Costa Georgiadis is a Greek-Australian landscape architect and television personality, known as the host of the SBS TV gardening show, Costa’s Garden Odyssey. In 2011 Costa took over from Peter Cundell as the host of ABC’s Gardening Australia and has become a household name.
Costa will appear throughout the day at the Orange Festival as well as hosting a tour of The Living Classroom (TLC) with CEO of the Gwydir Learning Region, Rick Hutton. The tour will explore the TLC’s latest project, the Mediterranean garden and memorial olive grove, as well as overall plans for the facility. The tour of The Living Classroom is just one of many attractions and events happening during the weekend of the festival. Other highlights include the photographic exhibition The Last Greek Café, which is one section of a larger, nationally touring exhibition called Selling an American Dream: Australia’s Greek Café.
Curated by photographer Effy Alexakis and historian Leonard Janiszewski, the project is based at Macquarie University. The exhibition was initially launched at the National Gallery of Australia in 2008 and has been touring since then, but this is the first time it will be shown in rural NSW.
The annual long lunch will be hosted by the Bingara CWA; this year’s lunch is sponsored by the Northern Slopes Landcare and will take on a Greek theme while adopting the ethos of 100 Mile eating, which focuses on sourcing local food from local producers within a 100 mile radius. On the menu are Greek delicacies such as slow cooked lamb and baklava.
The annual Bingara Fitness Centre Fun Run will also take on a Greek theme with entrants encouraged to dress in ancient Greek attire and togas, with prizes for the best dressed. Throughout the day of the festival there will also be live music, Greek dancing, kids’ activities and entertainment, the annual street parade, and a Tomato Stomp Comp where Costa and local personalities will be paired together in wine barrels filled with tomatoes, and with bare feet, challenged to see who can produce the most tomato juice in 3 minutes.
Festivities will continue on the Saturday evening with the Roxy Birthday Ball from 7.30pm and will conclude on the Sunday with a second presentation by Effy Alexakis and Lenoard Janiszewski and Greek Film ‘Alex and Eve’ and Brides.
With the festival less than two months away, anyone interested in having a stall or entering the festival parade are encouraged to contact the Bingara Information Centre on 02 6724 0066 to obtain an application form.