Ararat Jailhouse Rock Festival kicks off

ARARAT will be awash with hot rods, classic cars, vintage clothing and rock ‘n’ roll music for the next three days as the city hosts its annual Jailhouse Rock Festival.

The festival – which notches up its 20th anniversary this year – celebrates the 1950s and ’60s.

Festival director Ian Wilson said the weekend offered plenty of opportunities for dancing, singing along to rock ‘n’ roll bands and checking out vintage vehicles.

He said more than 350 people had a taste of the weekend’s offerings at a free lunchtime concert in Ararat Town Hall on Wednesday.

People rocked out to a performance by Melbourne crooners The Vincents.

Mr Wilson said other talented rock ‘n’ roll performers would entertain crowds at a variety of Ararat venues.

He invited people to attend a ‘meet and greet’ at the town hall tonight between 5.30pm and 11pm.

“There will be a live band playing, as well as a dinner dance at the Ararat RSL,” he said.

“There will also be plenty of live music at tomorrow’s Giant Highway 8 Festival.”

Mr Wilson said classic cars, hot rods and motorbikes would line Barkly Street – which would be closed to through traffic – tomorrow morning.

“There will be two live bands, more than 20 rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia stalls and a fantastic display of vehicles,” he said.

“A highlight will be a performance from the young Ararat Rockers. About 40 students from Ararat Primary School have been doing classes in their own time for four weeks. There will also be a circus troupe from the school and the Ararat West Primary School choir.”

Mr Wilson said tomorrow night’s festivities would include two balls and two bands in licensed premises.

He said Sunday’s Rock Extravaganza always drew a huge crowd.

“It brings all the aspects of the festival together in one place,” he said.

“There will be a massive dance floor under a marquee, a rock ‘n’ roll fashion parade and we’re expecting more than 200 motor vehicles, hot rods and classic cars.

“I’d really like to encourage people to come along for a look. It’s a great family day out and people can bring along a picnic and chairs and make a day of it.”

Mr Wilson said people could visit for more information or to buy tickets for individual events.

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