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Every year in January the charming seaside town of Busselton comes alive, with a medley of family friendly events designed for max summer fun.

The 2023 Festival of Busselton Summer Program is jam-packed with activities – from fireworks on the Busselton Foreshore to outdoor movies, concerts and the Petticoat Lane Twilight Markets. Most activities are free of charge, and take in some of the most iconic spots in the Busselton area.

Two of the most epic events on the program include a sandcastle building competition on Tuesday the 11th of January and the biggest water fight in the South West on Saturday the 7th of January.

Here’s what you need to know!

Sandcastle Competition

The Busselton Foreshore is the perfect spot for the Festival of Busselton’s infamous sandcastle extravaganza. The event is open to people of all ages – from families with little ones to grownups, teenagers and anyone looking to showcase their sand building skills.

Of course, no skill is actually needed. Just show up with tools (a bucket and a spade are a good start) and begin your masterpiece. Entry is free of charge, and registration happens before the event starts.

There are prizes for various categories, including most creative sandcastle and biggest sandcastle. All the action happens at Jetty Beach, out the front of Shelter Brewing Co and Equinox restaurants.

Having an idea of what you’re going to create is a great way to get the most out of your building time. There are plenty of great ideas to explore online, or come up with your own unique concept to wow the judges.

Here are some easy tips for getting started:

  • Have the right equipment – a small bucket, shovel, a stick, measuring spoons and a larger bucket for carrying water are a good start. Plastic utensils are also great for carving finer detail into your sandcastle.
  • Mark out an area – use a stick to mark where the sandcastle will be built. This helps you to visualise the space you’ll be working with, and ensures other people don’t accidentally encroach on the area you need.
  • Dig – using your hands and tools, start digging sand and building up the structure you want to create. If you’re new to sand art, choose something fairly simple, so you can really enjoy the process!
  • Water is your friend – water will help your sand stay firm, however too much water will make it go mushy. A good rule of thumb is to use equal parts water to sand. If in doubt, use less water, since you can always add more later.
  • Pat it down – firm sand is more likely to keep its form, so pat down the sand once it is where you’d like it to be. Using your hands is probably the easiest and most effective way to solidify your masterpiece.
  • Carve out detail – if your sandcastle requires a little more detail, then carefully use your utensils to create them. Always start carving from the top, as falling sand can damage anything underneath.
  • Decorate – shells, seaweed and other natural ocean treasures make perfect sandcastle decorations. While you’re at it, make the ocean a safer place for marine wildlife by picking up any plastic or rubbish you find along the way.
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Busselton’s Big Water Fight

One of the most epic adventures at the Festival of Busselton has to be the Big Water Fight, where kids of all ages gear up with water pistols for a serious soaking. The water fight kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 7th January, at Signal Park on the Busselton Foreshore.

Water goggles and non-slip shoes are highly recommended, and of course, all the fun you can muster. There’ll also be big water slides, a dunk tank and music on the day, plus yummy refreshments for the whole family to enjoy.

Of course, every good water fight needs some ground rules. No water balloons are allowed, and all kids play at their own risk. You’ll also want to bring a towel and plenty of sun protection, so kids can have fun while staying sun safe.

The Busselton Big Water Fight is free of charge for all participants. Head here for more info!

Busselton Festival

A little bit of history

The Festival of Busselton was first held in 1964, when the Rotary Club of Busselton and the community came together to create a series of events for locals and visitors to the area. Their mission? Join forces with local businesses to showcase the region’s incredible community spirit.

59 years later, and the Festival continues to run under the expert guidance of local volunteers, dedicated to creating fun-filled experiences for everyone who attends. The Festival Program evolves every year, with bigger and better experiences for kids, grown-ups and everyone in between.

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