The Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council (EMRC), the Northam Avon Descent Association (NADA) and four Local Governments - Shire of Northam, Shire of Toodyay, City of Swan and the City of Bayswater - are once again teaming up for another fun-packed series of Family Fun Days based around the iconic Avon Descent Race.
The event is being relaunched after 2020’s cancellation with a wide range of new initiatives and improvements in anticipation of its 50th anniversary in 2023.
The City of Armadale’s Scrutineering (Paddlecraft) event, staged at Champion lakes Regatta Centre on 1 August, marks the start of the Avon Descent program. The four local governments will then each hold their own riverside Family Fun Day events over the course of the Avon Descent weekend, offering a huge range of family-based activities.
Kicking off the excitement is the Shire of Northam’s Bilya (meaning river) Festival on Friday 13 August. The Shire of Toodyay’s International Food Festival will keep visitors enthralled and entertained on Saturday 14 August, while the City of Swan’s Avon Descent Festival and the City of Bayswater Avon Descent Finish Line Family Fun Day bring the program to a rousing finish on Sunday 15 August.
First held in 1973, the Avon Descent is Western Australia's own unique sporting event. Participants challenge the Avon and Swan rivers in a variety of paddle and power craft in an exciting two-day time trial over 124 gruelling kilometres. This year, for the first time in its history, the Avon Descent is being held on the second weekend in August to account for changing climate and rainfall patterns.
EMRC CEO Marcus Geisler said, ‘Avon Descent Family Fun Days are a perfect opportunity for family and friends to get outdoors and experience the excitement of the race. They promote wellbeing, offer opportunities for volunteers and bring a sense of place to each community.
‘We look forward to working with NADA and participating Councils in future to create opportunities which will enable the whole community to come together and celebrate a truly unique event.’
NADA Executive Officer Sean Dunstan said, ‘Northam’s Avon Descent Association is excited to be back in 2021 to deliver the Avon Descent for Western Australia. With the incredible support of the State government through the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and Lotterywest, we are able to ensure a strong relaunch for this beloved event.
‘As we look forward to our 50th event in 2023, we hope to continue to strengthen our key pillars of sporting, community and volunteering and further development of our six local government partnerships to deliver more for Western Australia.
Family Fun Day Event details
Shire of Northam
Event name: 2021 Northam Bilya Festival
Date: Friday 13 August 5:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Bernard Park, Minson Ave, Northam
Shire of Toodyay
Event name: Toodyay International Food Festival and Family Fun Day
Date: Saturday 14 August 10:00am – 3:00pm
Location: Stirling & Duidgee Parks, Stirling Terrace, Toodyay
City of Swan
Event name: City of Swan Avon Descent Festival
Date: Sunday 15 August 10:00am – 3:00pm
Location: Lilac Hill park, 850 W Swan Rd, Caversham
City of Bayswater
Event name: City of Bayswater Avon Descent Finish Line Family Fun Day 2021
Date: Sunday 15 August 11:00am – 5:00pm
Location: Riverside Gardens, Milne Street, Bayswater