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Set Sail for Catalpa Adventure Festival

Date22 March 2024

Dropping anchor on Sunday 31 March 2024 and set across two fun-filled days, the Catalpa Adventure Festival returns to the Rockingham Foreshore bigger than ever in 2024.

Proudly supported by the City of Rockingham with $74,000 in iconic event funding, the Catalpa Adventure Festival celebrates one of the most exciting chapters in Western Australia’s history – the bold and daring mission to liberate six Irish political prisoners on the American whaling ship Catalpa.

Actor dressed as an Irish political prisoner.

Mayor Deb Hamblin said the Catalpa story was a treasured part of Rockingham’s history.

“We are absolutely delighted to be providing sponsorship to this increasingly popular Easter weekend event which celebrates the excitement and daring of this great escape that took place in Rockingham 148 years ago," she said.

Not only does it celebrate the strong bonds between Australia and Ireland, it helps illustrate the ties that stretch cross the oceans from Rockingham to the United States which have continued to deepen.

Irish dancers performing in front of a crowd.The festival will feature activities for the entire family, with Gaelic football, musicians, roaming entertainment, food vendors, kids’ activities, market stalls, historical re-enactments, a screening of the Catalpa Rescue and much more.

One of the features of the Festival is the Fremantle Ports Catalpa Dash on Easter Monday morning, with members of the Peel District Cycling Club dashing along the same route the Fenian escapees took from Fremantle Prison to Rockingham. The riders are expect to arrive in Rockingham between 11 am and midday.

“The Catalpa Adventure Festival will be lots of fun for families looking for some great Easter entertainment, and it’s also a wonderful opportunity to find out about a very significant but perhaps little known event in our State’s history.“ Mayor Hamblin said.

Sunday 31 March 2024

1pm to 5pm – Village Green

  • Watch a live Gaelic football match with Na Fianna Catalpa and enjoy Irish hurling demonstrations.
  • There will also be food trucks and free activities for the whole family

5pm to 9pm – Inside Gary Holland Centre

  • Listen to Fenian fables and live Irish music followed by the screening of The Catalpa Rescue.
  • 18+ event with licensed bar.

Monday 1 April 2024

11am to 6pm - Churchill Park

  • Learn about the Catalpa Rescue through stories and poems.
  • Join in Irish song and dance, featuring Trinity Irish Dance Studio, The Healys and the Jarrah Celts.
  • Free activities, market, food stalls and licensed bar.

Find out more at Catalpa Adventure Festival.

Two people in Irish costume.

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