With a theme of ‘Anything Goes’, the 2009 Orange Festival became a giant street party with entertainment for all ages.
The first event of the festival was the Art in the Gwydir Good Life exhibition on Friday night, which set the tone for a relaxed weekend.
The Memphis Moovers provided roving entertainment in the street, while local identity, John Wade was kept busy providing pony rides. Some small ‘unicorns’ kept children happy in Fays Park as well.
A ‘snowstorm’ in front of the Council gave children the perfect spot for some snow fun, with chief ‘snow bunny’ librarian, Gail Phillpot enjoying the ‘snow’ almost more than the kids.
The official opening of the Festival took place after the Citizenship ceremony which saw Volau O’Rourke become Bingara’s newest Australian.
Deputy Mayor of Willoughby, Cr. Barry Thompson, brought greetings from Mayor Riley, and Willoughby council General manager, who were unable to attend. Cr. Thompson said the Willoughby Council appreciated the value of relationship between Gwydir and Willoughby Councils.
He congratulated Gwydir Council and volunteers on organising the Orange Festival, and commended Council for the healthy living in the Gwydir promotion, which, he noted, puts emphases on staying healthy rather than relying on the medical profession to try and make sick people well again.
Cr. Thompson also spoke of the successful student exchange program, noting that Bingara students would be travelling to Sydney to attend the Willoughby Spring Festival. Cr. Thompson attended the Vision 2020 Regenerative Energy forum last year, which he described as a worthwhile exercise. “Willoughby Council has been successful in getting a Sustainability levy,” he said.
“The State government has allowed Council to raise money for sustainability programs. “One of those will be about energy, and we hope to have discussions with Bingara, resulting in the two communities coming together to demonstrate renewable energy application in Australia,” Cr. Thompson said.
The 2009 Orange Festival was then officially opened by the Mayor, Cr. Bob Tremain.
The winners of the best float in the parade were the Pre-School and the Library book characters.
A web gallery capturing the excitement of the weekend will be posted shortly.