Village rides back in time

On your bike: Discover the fun of the National Penny Farthing Championships and Evandale Village Fair. Pictures: Rob Burnett
On your bike: Discover the fun of the National Penny Farthing Championships and Evandale Village Fair. Pictures: Rob Burnett

If you find yourself at Evandale on February 22, you could be forgiven for thinking you'd stepped back in time.

One day a year, the picturesque historic village in northern Tasmania is completely transformed into a Victorian hub as it hosts the world's largest penny farthing racing event.

Committee member Ashleigh Walker said the event was a family favourite.

"The event has ran for 38 years, mostly un-changed year-on-year," she said.

"It is good old-fashioned fun and it isn't everyday that you get to see penny farthings on the road.

"Spectators are always intrigued to see how the riders get on and off the bikes and it is actually quite thrilling to watch the riders as they pick up speed going through the courses.

"Some riders can clock-up speeds of 40km/h which is just amazing to watch."

There are several races planned throughout the day with 50 racers registered to compete.

The national penny farthing championship is the day's highlight when the eight fastest racers compete for the title.

But the day offers far more than just the bike race.

A village fair, puppets, music, dancers, historic cars, steam engines, pony rides, kids' activities and a variety of stalls ensure there's something for everyone.

Country music star Tania Kernaghan will take to the stage on the day and is sure to keep the crowd entertained.

Now in its 38th year, the event is the perfect way to see Evandale, one of Tasmania's earliest settlements just 18 kilometres from Launceston.

This small village is one of the state's prettiest and well-preserved towns, and it still boasts some of the country's best Victorian-era buildings.

The wheels of time turn back over a hundred years in the peaceful village of Evandale in Northern Tasmania.

The wheels of time turn back over a hundred years in the peaceful village of Evandale in Northern Tasmania.

Walking through the small cobbled streets, it's easy to imagine you've stepped back in time to the 1870s when penny farthings were a common sight.

And with plenty of people embracing the historical event and turning up in period costume, you're guaranteed some unique photo opportunities while in town.

Classic car enthusiasts shouldn't miss seeing the Grand Parade, where vintage cars take to the streets accompanied a brass band.

And there's no need to worry about occupying the littlest explorers as face-painting, pony rides and a puppet show are sure to keep them entertained.

On the Sunday, February 23, make sure to check out the famous Evandale Market, one of Tasmania's favourite markets with over 100 stalls, including a wide range of wares from high quality crafts to bric-a-brac for every budget. There are also plenty of food stalls and children's amusements. Every Sunday 8am to 2pm.

Keep your eyes peeled for more penny farthing fun with the 20-mile road race taking place.

Starting in Evandale at 10am the bikes will travel on the open road finishing at Clarendon House.

This year The Evandale Village Fair will have Eftpos facilities for the first time. For further information about the day's races and events visit evandalevillagefair.com.

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