Community spirit is alive and well in The Hills Shire region, with plenty of family activities on all year round. But the two biggest events on the calendar are the Orange Blossom Festival in September, and the Castle Hill Show in March – both steeped in history of how the region was established.
History of community events
There’s no doubt the physical landscape in The Hills District has irreversibly changed over the last 100 years. Although it is always good to know that some things don’t change – and that’s certainly evident in the way the community still holds dear to tradition when it comes to the Blossom Festival and Castle Hill Show.
The Castle Hills Show
Originally the Show began as the Castle Hill Sports in 1886, with donkey ploughing the main attraction, but has since progressed to a whole weekend of events ranging from arts and crafts to photography, horticulture, ute mustering, cat and dog shows, and everything in between!
For well over a century the Castle Hill Show has been an opportunity to bring a little bit of the country back to the city, and while modern times have brought many new exhibitors to the event, there are still plenty of the tried-and-true favourites on board. In particular, the arts and crafts, and the opportunity to meet and greet with a plethora of farm animals. Long described as the forerunner to the Sydney Easter Show, there’s no doubt that the Castle Hill Show is one of the pride and joys of The Hills Shire District.
The Orange Blossom Festival
Then, in 1969 a group of locals got together to bring about a special annual event that would further enhance community life in the Shire. With a salute to the past – when The Hills Shire region was well known for its agriculture and in particular citrus fruit orchards – the name came about to celebrate the first blossoms of the orange tree in spring, and so the Orange Blossom Festival was born.
What began as a street parade with an afternoon fair at Arthur Whitling Park is now a month-long festival in September, with everything from organic gardening workshops, to food truck feasts, BMX championships and coffee appreciation. And in the middle of the month is The Hills Community Council Fun Day, which aims to showcase the best of the whole community and its rich diversity.
Why it’s such a wonderful place to live
Simply put, without the support of the volunteers and the community, these big events (and the smaller ones too) would never have lasted so long. But they mean something to each and of us in The Hills District, and are a testimony to the values we live by here.
It’s also one of the reasons we see so many people wanting to move to the district, evident by the fact that we are one of the fastest-growing regions of NSW – it has actually been estimated that by 2013 more than 250,000 people will be living here!
Always a part of the neighbourhood
In amongst a large city like Sydney, it can be easy to lose a sense of community as neighbourhoods endlessly blend into each other street after street.
But what we see in The Hills District is something different, and it’s why we are so proud to have been a part of it for so long. Some things change – like our brand name – but some things don’t, like the wonderful events that bring out the best of our community every year. And us? We are still the same experienced agents who love living and supporting the Hills District, like we’ve always been.
In a community like ours, tradition is something to cherish and hold onto as long as possible. Which is why we thank all the volunteers, committee members and wider community for all that they do to support each other and for continuing these wonderful traditions – you’re what makes this place ‘home’.
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