First established in 1954, the Donnybrook Apple Festival has been integral to the community of Donnybrook in both good times and bad. Originally the brain child of Mr Alan Frost, councillor of the then Preston Roads Board, fruit growing towns such as Bridgetown, Manjimup and Mount Barker were invited to join forces to create an annual event, known as the Southwest Festival. The festivals were to be held annually in rotation between the participating southwest towns. Over time the other districts gradually dropped out, but Donnybrook carried on the tradition until 1968. There was a ten year break until 1978 when the Donnybrook Apex Club revived the Apple Festival and it has been held in Donnybrook ever since.
A cultural and social event since its inception, the Donnybrook Apple Festival provides a focus for travellers to pause for a while during their Easter break. The Southwest is one of the cleanest and greenest growing environments in the world. Fruit production is just one of the many agricultural industries that thrive in its fertile soil. Winemaking, olives and other gourmet fare are all increasing in production in the region. The Apple Festival gives locals a chance to showcase what our beautiful town can produce and helps to create a sense of community and belonging.
PICTURE ABOVE: 1954 Apple Queens