What started as a celebration of the Mt Lawley neighbourhood has grown to become WA’s biggest street festival.

The Beaufort Street Festival is expected to welcome 100,000 people to the restaurant, bar and shopping strip today.

As well as food and wine stalls, vintage markets, live bands and street art, the festival will feature quirky events such as a dog show, a burger-eating competition, a giant inflatable soccer pitch and a city made from cardboard.

Festival co-chairman John Carey put the event’s success down to a dedicated team of volunteers with a passion for their neighbourhood.

“People don’t realise this is a festival that’s not run by local council, nor a government authority ... it’s extraordinary when you think it’s hosted by a non-profit community group, up to 150 volunteers,” Mr Carey said.

“It’s a really exciting model and one other councils are looking at replicating.”

The street will be closed from Lincoln Street to Queens Crescent and bars and restaurants have been given extended streetside trading permits.

Festival director Paul Fletcher said the family-friendly event had been embraced by locals and visitors.

“It’s taken six, seven months work but it’s been great, and the community support has been really positive,” he said.

The event played an important role in boosting struggling retailers, he said.

Mr Carey was confident the additional bars and crowds would not cause problems.

The West Australian

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