Kalorama Chestnut Festival
First Sunday in May each year at the Kalorama Reserve.
The Kalorama Chestnut Festival is a fundraising event hosted by the Mt Dandenong Preschool and Mt Dandenong Primary School. The Festival has been running for over 30 years and has become a local institution and a much-loved family day out for not only the local community but visitors seeking a taste of Autumn in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges. Each year, a new generation of local families take the reigns, lovingly carrying on the Chestnut Festival traditions whilst also introducing just a hint of something new.
The kindergarten and primary school host a number of stalls themselves and also invite other market stall holders to join in the fun, making it a true celebration of the local Mt Dandenong, Olinda and Kalorama community.
At the heart of the Festival is the chestnut itself – a humble and under-utilised nut which can be found in abundant supply throughout the Hills. Chestnuts have been grown in Australia for over 100 years and for the Hills community, are synonymous with Autumn – the familiar smell of roadside chestnut roasting stalls a special reminder of the changing of seasons.
Each year, local families come together for picking days where everyone trudges out to a local chestnut farm and collects this year’s harvest. This is followed up by another fun night (for parents only!) where we peel these notoriously tricky – and prickly – little things! The power of this humble nut in bringing together our community is something to behold.