The Bingara community got into the Christmas spirit on Saturday night for the annual Christmas carnival, brought to town this year with the enormous support of the Bangalow and Tweed regions. A day of patchy storms, thunder and a teasing of rain gave way just in time for the show to begin, providing a cooler evening for all to enjoy.
Stall holders also braved the difficult afternoon conditions to provide a range of shopping and food options for the enjoyment of attendees.
This year the town was spoilt with family entertainment from guest performers Clayton Crosby, Dan Murphy, Susie Jay and Joe Ace from Australia’s got talent, Jayne Henry, Bingara Central School and the Bingara Preschool.
After their performance students from Bingara Central School joined the stage to express their thanks and gratitude for the hampers they have received, donations for school excursions and ongoing support.
“Dear Bangalow, thank you for the hamper, especially when the drought is on. You have done a lot for Bingara. We hope you have money left for your Christmas. We are grateful. Have a Merry Christmas,” said Kade Hart of Year 1.
From Year 5: “Bingara Central School thanks you so much for helping students being able to attend their stage excursions. Without your support and contributions, many students may not have been able to attend and enjoy the experience of these excursions.”
“We are grateful to your community for your contribution towards this wonderful Christmas Carnival tonight. Events like this help bring our community together, providing a fun night out for all. Without your support Bingara may not have had a Christmas Carnival this year; so thank you very much Bangalow,” concluded Grace Young, Year 4.
Familiar with the area after working in the region over the years, Dan Murphy said he was pleased to be able to contribute to the night. “It’s awesome to give the people a night out and hopefully, give the people a night to forget their troubles for an hour or two and enjoy the atmosphere,” he said. “I’m off the land myself, from out west of Cobar off a cattle station so I know what it’s like in the drought. I can appreciate what the people are going through. Music is a good way to forget it all and enjoy. “Thanks to the people who organised this. It’s great night and bring on the rain,” he concluded.
When Lisa Laird began her movement to help Bingara residents last year she never dreamed the need would continue in to 2019. “About September I got a call to say, hey did you know things are worse here now than they were last year. I realised that hang on a second, it wasn’t a one-off,” she said. When asked why she decided to start the initiative in the first place she told The Gwydir News how she has always felt for farmers and in particular, watching how tough it is to have a farming property.
“I wanted to be able to give back in some way and so I started donating to some of the bigger companies and then realised that I wasn’t sure where it all went to. I wanted my daughter to learn not to be asking to take all the time so that she learnt to give back a little. “I’ve been able to involve my partner, my beautiful daughter is here and now we’ve got a whole convoy, not from Bangalow this time but the Tweed area,” said Lisa.
Her message to Bingara is simple. “Keep your chin up and hope that it improves in the new year and that we’re all thinking of you.” A thrift pop-up shop sprouted from under the grandstand to offer for free, an enormous amount of clothing donations from the Bangalow community. This was hugely successful and additionally offered fruit mince pies, Christmas cake and some fresh vegetables.
Always a hit, Santa was swamped as he drove into town in the Bingara RFS truck, lights flashing, of course.
Georgia Standerwick, Gwydir Shire Marketing and Promotions Team Leader, was pleased with how the carnival went this year, with numbers excellent, particularly considering the weather conditions. “We are really grateful to everyone who donated their time and effort in to making the event a great success. Special thanks to Bangalow and Tweed regions for organising all the entertainment on the night and thanks to the entertainers who all volunteered their time,” she said.
“Thank you to Bingara Lions and Northern Slopes Landcare who supported the event through financial contribution as well as Carlo’s IGA, Warialda for donating the lolly bags handed out by Santa.”