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Northam Bilya River Festival

The Avon Descent weekend kicks off each year on the Friday evening with the Northam Bilya River Festival. The action begins at midday when audiences can witness a steady stream of watercraft pass through Bernard Park as entrants register for the race. A themed community float parade takes place to start the evening’s festivities, followed by a blessing of the river to welcome the coming race.


The Northam Bilya Festival is a unique way to highlight the importance of the River in cultural terms as well as celebrating the start of one of Australia’s most exciting events, and includes fun family entertainment, a side show alley, marshmallow toasting and live performances throughout the evening. 


Road closures are in place for this event. For full road closure details, head to

For more information on what you can see and do around town, contact the Visit Northam Visitor Centre on 9622 2100 or


It's almost that time of the year again where we celebrate the start of the Avon Descent with the the Avon Bilya River Festival- and we would love to see you, your school, community group or organisation in the parade!
The Theme for this year’s festival is ‘Environmental sustainability’. “Sustainability is the idea that humans must interact with the environment in a way that ensures there will be enough resources left for future generations”
It is FREE to have your float in the street parade and there is no restriction on the number of float applications – the more the merrier!
Deadline for applications is Friday 29 July 2022 (5pm) please email for entry forms and details.
We can’t wait to see your creativity shine!


Bottle Lanterns

Recycled Art