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04 December 2019
By Lotte Reiter
Horsham’s Kannamaroo Festival and Carols by Candlelight committees will convene in coming weeks to discuss the viability of an ongoing partnership.
Organisers behind the two annual community events joined forces at the weekend for the first time to present a three-day program of activities and Christmas celebrations.
Kannamaroo Festival committee chair Di Bell and Horsham Carols by Candlelight event co-ordinator Simon Dandy said the trial worked well, but a debriefing would provide a clearer idea of how the two autonomous events would operate together in the future.
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“There’s a lot of opportunity for joining different events in the community together,” Mrs Bell said.
“But at the same time, we want to make sure we don’t overload the community on one weekend.
“We also need to balance that with encouraging people into the city.
“From our angle we think it worked well, but a debrief in the next few weeks will help us to decide where to go from here.”
Mr Dandy said an issue of continuing the combined weekend of events rested in the fact that both Kannamaroo and the carols had recognised dates they fell on each year, which did not always coincide.
For Kannamaroo, this date is the last full weekend in November, and for Carols by Candlelight, the first Sunday of December.
Mr Dandy said it ‘doesn’t make much sense’ to have Carols by Candlelight in November. As a result, he said much of the decision was likely to be in the Kannamaroo Festival committee’s hands.
“We know we can’t move into November; logic would say we can’t,” he said.
“They are distinct events with set purposes, but I think we still worked well together.
“It was good, there was a lot of action going on. You never know. It could come down to us only joining the events when they coincide on the same weekend.”
In terms of the individual events themselves, Mrs Bell and Mr Dandy said they were pleased with the outcome in the face of poor weather conditions. Mrs Bell said while a few stall holders and activities withdrew from the Friday night street festival because of rain, the weather otherwise failed to dampen attendees’ spirits.
“Even when it rained, people just found some cover and then came out again when it stopped,” she said.
“I think people just liked getting out and getting together.
“And I think they really liked seeing the regional entertainment we had.
“It’s nice to have features from outside the area, but we have so much talent locally and I think people enjoyed that.”
Mr Dandy said the success of carols was also a credit to the talent of home-grown performers, as well as special guest Silvie Paladino who led songs including Mary’s Boy Child, Winter Wonderland and O Holy Night.
He said he wanted to thank volunteers and the people who attended, despite it likely being ‘easier to stay at home and listen on the radio’.
“The weather wasn’t perfect, and it was cold, but the crowd I thought was really good considering,” he said.
“Everyone who was there was all rugged up and seemed to enjoy themselves.
“And the vendors sold a lot, which is good. There were lots of people eating hot chips and jam donuts and drinking coffee.
“It was good to see the rewards for our efforts.”
The entire December 4, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!