ORANGE will host a combined Slow Summer and Banjo Paterson celebration early next year in a new format for Orange’s summer festival.
Taste Orange chief executive officer Rhonda Sear said the organisation was in the processing of reviewing how Slow Summer would be hosted next year when approached by the Rotary Club of Orange, who were planning celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of Banjo Paterson.
“It all seemed like such a wonderful fit for both events to be incorporated into one program,” Ms Sear said.
Following this year’s Slow Summer Festival Ms Sear said discussions were under way to reduce the size of the event to about four days. She said this was because of the logistical challenges of locking in events and liaising with individual event organisers over the busy Christmas and New Year period.
The dates locked in for Slow Summer 2014 and the 150th celebration of Banjo Paterson are from February 7-17, 2014.
Mrs Sear said the first meeting of stakeholders to organise the combined festival had an excellent roll-up with 24 people attending and indicating they would like to be involved in the organisational process for the festival.
Ms Sear said the combined event would benefit from the publicity already locked in by the Rotary Club of Orange when the historic Banjo Paterson cottage is moved early next year from the current site at Waratah Sports Club to the Botanic Gardens. This will be covered by ABC Television.
The cottage is the last remaining structure from the Narambla Estate, the reported birthplace of Banjo Paterson.
“I think the key to next year’s event will be the fact it will be very much a shared effort,” Ms Sear said.
Popular events such as the dragon boat regatta on Lake Canobolas and the night markets are to be incorporated into the program, according to Ms Sear.
Taste Orange has also announced a change of dates for the mid-year Frost Fest celebration.
It will be held from July 30 to August 4.
“We had to choose these dates so we could have the function centre available to us for the art show, as this is one of the major attractions of that festival,” Ms Sear said.
She said anyone who is interested in hosting an event during the festival is invited to contact Taste Orange on 6360 1990.