In 2004 a group of citizens in Warwick who shared a passion for yarn had a bright idea. They decided to decorate the bare winter trees in the main street of their southern Queensland town. The keen crafters probably never imagined that their yarnbombing project would be the catalyst for an annual festival which now attracts thousands of visitors.
That first year, staff at the Warwick Art Gallery assembled a group of knitters, crocheters and weavers who worked together to create “tree jumpers” for every tree in the main shopping area. A program of jazz performances was planned to accompany the yarnbombing and Jumpers and Jazz in July was born!
Now decorating the trees is competitive, with cash prizes offered in several sections including excellence in knitting and/or crochet and best community and school groups.
One popular section in the competition is the theme challenge, with this year’s theme being Crackers – from Christmas bonbons
to firecrackers and fireworks
and even cheese and crackers!
While the trees take centre stage, public buildings undergo a yarnbombing transformation too. The sandstone pillars of Warwick Town Hall and the bollards on the pedestrian crossings wear their own colourful jumpers.
In July, Warwick comes alive with Jumpers and Jazz.