Tom Price shimmers for 50th Nameless Jarndunmunha Festival
The red dust of Tom Price was laced with gold at the weekend as community members celebrated the golden jubilee of their town’s biggest annual event.
The Namelesss Jarndunmunha Festival marked its 50th anniversary on Friday and Saturday, drawing several thousand people to Clem Thompson Memorial Oval for the milestone event, which featured the gold-inspired theme of Jubilee in the Dust.
Festival committee president Peter Foster said the festival had first begun on October 12, 1969 as a town fundraiser, before evolving into a dedicated town celebration just years later.
He said the event reaching 50 years was a huge achievement for the town.
“It’s amazing — I know Karratha was celebrating 50 years (as a town) just the other day and we’re celebrating 50 years of an event,” he said.
“Being such a transient town, people are always coming and going, so it’s remarkable this event has been running for all these years.
“That’s 50 years of volunteers stepping up and going: we want to put on an event for the community to enjoy. And it all adds up and makes for a great festival.”
He said a number of former Tom Price residents had returned to be part of the 50th anniversary celebrations.
The festival kicked off on Friday night with an official welcome before the oval came alive with rides, show bags, market stalls, food vans and children’s entertainment.
Outfits in the shape of a giant 50th birthday cake or made entirely from cardboard featured in the the always-popular Wearable Arts Awards, in which Cindy Ireland won the overall prize, before headliner band Good Faces 4 Radio and DJs Horizon and Brooklyn took over the stage to get the crowd dancing.
The float parade on Saturday morning was awash with gold in a nod to the event’s golden jubilee and featured about 40 entries.
Tom Price Primary took home the prize for best school float, Penina O Pasifika won the best community group category and From Dust Creative Arts claimed best business.
Performances from local dance groups From Dust Creative Arts and Penina O Pasifika, the Tom Price Primary School Choir and and children’s entertainers the Mik Maks kept the crowd entertained throughout the day, while the Grease, Gears and Grills car show was once again a hit with petrolheads.
Talent show the TP Factor drew a large field of entrants with Lea Malakea, Chloe Weightman and Ateca Ravatudei winning the adult, secondary school and primary school categories respectively, and there was plenty of canine talent on show at the traditional dog show.
The event went out with a bang later that night with a traditional fireworks display and more entertainment from the previous night’s acts.
Mr Foster said the committee, most of whom were new to their roles this year, had done well to bring the event together in a relatively short space of time and put on a great show for the community.
“We don’t have a lot of festivals or events in Tom Price, and the community really comes together for this, so it’s an exciting time. It’s huge,” he said.
Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White thanked all the organising committee members, sponsors and supporters who had kept the festival tradition alive in Tom Price for 50 years.
“Together with Rio Tinto, the Shire was once again proud to be a principal partner for the festival and this year’s jubilee is a milestone we can all be proud of,” she said.
The event festivities also included a ball held the weekend before at the Tom Price Community Centre.
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