For four years now Hulbert Street, a local street in South Fremantle has hosted a Spring Sustainability Fiesta. Last year two homes, five artist’s studios and seven gardens were open to the public and over 90 stalls, 100 performing artists, 30 speakers and over 5,000 visitors enjoyed the weekend.
The vision behind the Fiesta is one of celebrating sustainable living, and encouraging people to take on a more sustainable lifestyle by coming to visit the most sustainable accommodation option in WA – The Painted Fish and Fremantle’s “Sustainable Street” – Hulbert Street. Sustainability and community are an important aspect of life on Hulbert Street, with over 40% of the houses being connected to their own solar power, two thirds of households growing some of their own food and regular street movies, gardening days and courses ensuring people in the street are well connected and in a perfect situation to host the Fiesta.
Hulbert Street will be closed to traffic for the weekend, with residents volunteering to ensure all cars are off the road so space is available for stalls and activities. Last year about 90 stall holders participated – about one third community groups (such as Living Smart, The Organic Growers Association, The Men’s Shed, local schools), about one third local artists and craftsman, and about one third local businesses selling sustainable products used at The Painted Fish and other street households (e Solar Shop, Earth and Water, Tanks Very Much etc) This blend of stalls gave the Fiesta a very “local homegrown” feel.
During this years’ Fiesta a Living Smart Show and Tell Area will be set up to allow individuals who have made significant changes in their own lives to share over the weekend. Topics will include those generally covered in the award winning “Living Smart” course – water, power, transport, waste, healthy homes, gardening for productivity and biodiversity, simply living, and keeping yourself healthy. A timetable will be advertised in the local paper and on a flier handed to participants as they enter the street. Those interested will be encouraged to participate in a local “Living Smart” course by past participants and facilitators.
Local Hulbert Street residents will be showcasing their homes, creativity, work and sustainable lifestyles. Open homes including The Painted Fish and 21 Hulbert Street will be open and informative signage will enable visitors to wander and learn at their leisure. Other gardens in the street will be open to members of the public, including a native water wise garden and several showing different styles of food production.
There are seven practising artists living in the Hulbert Street, and most will hold open studios over the weekend. Other householders will take part in a Living Smart Poster Project where they share what they have done in the past twelve months to make their homes and lifestyles more sustainable and what their future plans are.
There will be a great deal for people to see and do over the weekend. Cafe style seating will be set up near a Buskers’ Spot to allow participants to relax after visiting the open homes, studios and gardens and allow the informal sharing of information and food – an important part of “growing community”.
In preparation for the Fiesta several street and community events will be held, including a Street Verge Gardening Day a month or so before the big event when residents of Hulbert Street will be encouraged to plant productive food gardens on their verges.
With financial support in 2010 from LotteryWest, the City of Fremantle, local politicians and The Painted Fish, the Fiesta has grown into a major event. Many volunteers help out with the running the Fiesta, with approximately $27,000 worth of in kind support being donated – and this figure does not include those helping with the various community groups and charities that participated!
Each year’s Fiesta features a poster based on a painting by local artist Tim Darby. Hulbert Street has its own street pizza oven and this years poster will feature a scene from one of our weekly Wednesday night pizza nights.Prints and cards of the poster will be available for sale over the weekend and local schools will be invited to use the poster as a stimulus for writing and art activities which can then be displayed.
There are many family activities over the weekend. Children and youth are able to participate in wood working, basket weaving, busking, art and craft activities, face painting, ping pong competitions, fairy shows . . . . the list grows daily! Community groups and schools are invited to run stalls with activities for families as a fundraising and advertising venture for their groups.
The aim of the Fiesta is to encourage people to take on more sustainable behaviours. Last year a formal evaluation of participants satisfaction with the event, changes in knowledge, attitude and intention, and any actions implemented following the event was undertaken. This year a more informal graffitti board will allow participants to share their reflections on the event and what changes it has provoked.
To get involved with the Fiesta or for more information contact Shani Graham at
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