The Pungo Strawberry Festival - 2001


27th May 2001

Lots of booths and stalls, lots of craft for sale, some good, most crap. Pretty much like any festival today. Games, rides, animal petting tents and food stalls. Lots of places selling strawberries. Quart punnets of fresh strawberries for $3. They look a bit mucky and a bit slug-chewed, but the taste was heavenly. These were freshly picked strawberries, ripened in the sun, not in some supermarket refrigerator. They tasted luscious and like strawberries should taste but rarely do. We had strawberry daiquiris too. We passed up the strawberry flans and pies.

And halfway down, is this lopsided sign telling us where we are. Hasn't there been a series recently in the Sydney Morning Herald about "Home Of The ..."? Well here's another one.

[Home of the Strawberry

The whole show was pretty large. Long street to walk down, farms at one end, military at the other, plenty of people to get in the way. [Street Scene]

Functionality often forms design. This is the corner store at Pungo, looking a bit like an old bush pub from Queensland. If you look near the centre of the store, a bit to the right, and just above a red sign, you'll see Anne just beside what looks like a giant shadow of an ostrich. Yes, you can't make her out, but she's there.

[Corner store looking like
Queensland pub]

Food stalls, and this was the most colourful. See the next photo for what was being sold at the Hog's Trough.

[The Hog's Trough]

We came across a small pig racetrack for the kids. Nothing was actually racing when we appeared, but we saw the piglets inside the van being treated like pets. Happy little piglets, slim and clean and snuffling and reaching up for pats and treats. Reminded me of kittens. And then this black little porker came out and walked really slowly around the track and then back. This pig was only about 2 feet high, but it was fat. Fat, fat, fat. See how tall it is compared the kid? Look at that giant mound of fat above its head. It reminded me of Ruffian with the same slow waddle. It took 5 minutes to walk around the track, then a few minutes rest, and then 5 minutes to walk back again, with it's ridiculous little tail whizzing like a helicopter rotor the whole way. It acted really dignified, but looked so funny.

[Fat little piggy not going
to market]

Anne bought a smoked turkey leg. These are giant things, looking like they came off a moa. She's having a chew, and the leg is almost the same size as her head. It's red meat, bit chewy, lots of tendons. Good eating though. Took us ages to get through it. I didn't get a photo of a blooming onion. One day at one of these events, I'll get a photo of a blooming onion so you can see what Australia is falsely blamed for having created. [Moa legs]

There were a few unusual things going on at the Festival. One that I found very interesting was medieval fighting of a very basic sort. This guy seemed to be the star attraction. He fought with two swords, and had a lot of fun. Lots of bellowing and ancient oaths and play-acting, but he swung the weapons and was really active. It was hot out there and he built up sweat but he kept piling in. We watched him take on two boys who seemed to aim for his codpiece and nothing else.

[Medieval battle]

Here's a closeup of him. He's getting right into it.

[Medieval battler]

We moved on to more modern military techniques. The military had a big chunk of space, with a tank and a duck and a few tents. This was the end of the show.

[The Military Display]