July 7, 2021

Happy Days they were indeed on the last weekend in June as hundreds gathered to celebrate Bingara’s annual Orange Festival. A perfect winter’s day provided the backdrop to the celebration of the good times of yesteryear and all things orange-related.

Preceded by a Friday night screening of 2008 remake of movie classic Mama Mia at the Roxy Theatre, the festival brought Maitland Street alive on Saturday morning. Lined with a multitude of stalls and vintage cars, the centre of Bingara was abuzz as music, dance and entertainment was held across two sites this year; in front of the Council Chambers and the main stage which was located at the intersection of Finch Street for the first time.

Highlights of the day included performances from Gwydir Band, Summer Swing Dance Studio, New England Rockabilly Rockers, Zephyr Project, Bingara Preschool and Central Schools as well as hula-hoop and bubblegum blowing competitions.

A change of layout, with the stage now at the Finch Street intersection, came about due to updated legislation preventing heavy vehicles being diverted into residential areas.

The Gwydir News spoke with a number of stallholders who were unanimous for their praise of the festival and were planning on a return next year.  Local business houses were equally happy with their trade.

Event organisers were extremely pleased with the way the day brought the street to life. “The Special Events Committee were thrilled to be able to bring the Orange Festival back to the community for 2021,” said Gwydir Shire Council’s Marketing and Tourism Team Leader, Casey McClymont. “We feel that the day was a great success and the feedback we have received has been extremely positive. After the tough times that everyone has endured it was lovely to see the streets teeming with people all happy to be out enjoying the atmosphere, and wonderful weather.”

“The festival is a vital component of Bingara’s identity and the community and committee work hard to ensure that the sentiment behind the festival is never forgotten,” she said.

“The committee would like to thank everyone involved and the community for their contributions. We look forward to 2022!” said Ms McClymont.