THE launch of the 2014 Banjo Paterson Festival last Saturday night at the CGU Banjo Business Awards is the catalyst for momentum to increase in the lead-up to the festival.
Starting on February 7 and running until February 17, the festival’s purpose is twofold - broadening the Slow Summer Festival, which has been held for the last five years, and marking the 150th birthday of the famous Australian poet who has connections to Orange as his birthplace.
The new festival is the result of a culmination of ideas following submissions to 80 community organisations and businesses.
The Rotary Club of Orange in partnership with Taste Orange, Orange and District Historical Society, Orange City Council, Cabonne Council, Millamolong Polo Club, ABC Radio, Yeoval Historical Society and state member for Orange Andrew Gee make up the committee planning for the festival.
“The festival will continue to build interest in the region’s features such as Lake Canobolas and Emmaville Cottage, as well as lifting the veil on Orange’s cultural heritage through Banjo Paterson’s birthday,” Taste Orange executive officer Rhonda Sear said.
Banjo Paterson working committee member Len Banks said the 150th anniversary since the birth of Australia’s most famous poet in Orange was perfect timing for a festival.
“It makes sense to celebrate this and create some excitement and sense of occasion around it,” he said.
The birthday celebrations as part of the festival have inspired events such as Wallis and Matilda, Poetry in the Park, the Battle of the Bards, a festival fun run, art exhibition and many other events.
For a full list of events go to www.tasteorange.com.au/slowsummer.htm.