May 4, 2010
First Sunday in May
I have to say I was expecting a bit more from this 'festival'. I imagined an ambient event with music, the smoky smell of roasting chestnuts, and quirky hills people spruiking strange chestnut products such as chessboards carved out of chestnut shells - for the serious chess nut!
Alas, it was more of your standard school fete with no chess nuts in sight. Held on a large reserve, there was a lot of empty space and none of the community camaraderie that often makes these events so enjoyable. The highlights were the free petting zoo and playdough tables set up by the Dandenong pre-school, but the other stalls and activities were fairly commercial. The biggest let down, however, were the food options. Having just visited my mum in Olinda and watched her prepare a meal of Stephanie Alexander's chestnut soup and chestnut and mushrooms, I was surprised to find little inspiration at the 'chestnut festival'.
All that being said, if you're planning a day in the hills on the first Sunday of May then its worth a look in to support the local pre-school and give the kids a run around.