COMMUNITY is at the heart of this year’s Heyfield Timber Festival.

In the face of recent challenges posed by the state government’s logging cessation, the Heyfield Timber Festival stands as a beacon of unity and is set to captivate the town on February 17 and 18.

Festival President, Felecia Stevenson believes the event – now in its third year running – will once again rally the community.

“The community always comes together, and we’ve got to keep the history,” she said.

The Heyfield Timber Festival celebrates more than 70 years of timber tradition, making it more than just a family fun day; it’s a testament to the enduring connection between Heyfield and the timber industry.

Ms Stevenson, whose family connection to the industry spans three generations, emphasises the festival’s role in keeping the industry alive and fostering community bonds.

“My grandfather worked in the timber mill here (Heyfield). My father, cousins, nephews, and uncles too”, Ms Stevenson said.

Having been an integral part of the festival committee for the last three years, Ms Stevenson expresses the pride she feels watching locals come together to celebrate Heyfield’s timber heritage.

The festival, scheduled for the upcoming weekend, promises a range of activities for all ages, rekindling the spirit of past events.

Wood-chopping events, a cornerstone of past festivals, will return. In addition, the South-Central Gippsland Axemen’s State Champion Tree Climbing competition will add a competitive edge to the festivities.

Shane Phillips, a retired kiln manager on the festival committee, anticipates global talent in the tree-climbing event and promises a thrilling show.

The festival’s line-up includes popular features like the dog high jump, a carnival for children, free games, helicopter rides, market stalls, live music, a vintage truck show, and the Tim Coleman motorcycle stunt show.

As per tradition, a Sunday parade through Heyfield’s streets will proceed to the Timber Workers Memorial, where a 10am vigil will pay homage to those who have lost their lives in the timber industry.

As Heyfield prepares for this year’s Timber Festival, the resilient spirit and commitment to preserving their heritage shines through, promising a great weekend of community, tradition, and celebration.

Gates open at 9am on Saturday.

Kids under 16-years-old enter free, while adult tickets cost $15.