About The Kalorama Chestnut Festival

The Kalorama Chestnut Festival is an annual fundraising event held on the first Sunday in May at the Kalorama Reserve.

The Festival has been running for over 30 years and has become a local institution. It’s a much-loved family day out for the local community and visitors seeking a taste of autumn in the beautiful Dandenong Ranges. 

Behind the Festival is a dedicated group of Mount Dandy parents, caregivers, and educators passionate about our kids and community. They volunteer their time to pick, sort, and roast chestnuts, coordinate stalls and entertainment, seek sponsors, spread the word, and all the things involved in running a festival!

Each year, a new generation of local families takes the reigns, lovingly carrying on the Chestnut Festival traditions and introducing just a hint of something new.

We thank all of our Festival volunteers for their contributions. As a 100% volunteer-run event, it wouldn’t exist without them!

Who Benefits From The Kalorama Chestnut Festival Fundraising?

The Kalorama Chestnut Festival is presented by and raises funds for the Mount Dandenong Preschool and Mount Dandenong Primary School.

The kindergarten and primary school host several stalls and invite other market stall holders to join in the fun, genuinely celebrating the local Mount Dandenong, Olinda, and Kalorama communities.

Why Is It Called The Chestnut Festival?

At the heart of the Festival is the chestnut itself – a humble and under-utilised nut found in abundant supply throughout the hills. 

Chestnuts have been grown in Australia for over 100 years and are synonymous with autumn for the hills community. The familiar smell of roasting chestnuts at roadside stalls is a reminder of the changing seasons.

Each year, preschool and primary school families come together for chestnut picks. Everyone gathers at a local chestnut farm and collects the year’s harvest. 

Following the harvest is 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.