Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival celebrates all poets, not just Banjo

POETIC PRACTISE: Baxter and Lucy Cook practice their poetry recital ahead of the Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival in February. Photo: JUDE KEOGH  																   0902banjo3

POETIC PRACTISE: Baxter and Lucy Cook practice their poetry recital ahead of the Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival in February. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 0902banjo3

THE Banjo Paterson Australian Poetry Festival is first and foremost about the community but for it to be successful, it needs the community to get on board.

Festival committee chair Len Banks is calling on businesses, schools and community groups to create artworks, hang displays or name a meal in honour of the country’s greatest poets.

In its second year, the festival will aim to recognise all Australian poets, rather than just Banjo Paterson, but Mr Banks says a fuss will still be made about the Narrambla-born poet’s birthday.

“We’ll still have the signature events such as the night markets, the dragon boat races and some family fun activities ... we’re aiming to have a family market day,” he said. 

The 2014 festival was held to commemorate 150 years since the birth of Banjo Paterson and consisted of poetry reading, a day on the beach at Lake Canobolas and the opening of Emmaville Cottage, as well as a breakfast and a dinner to celebrate the occasion. 

Mr Banks said he believed the festival, held in February, had been successful given the high level of participation from Orange residents and the large number of visitors who flocked to the region. 

Taste Orange executive officer Rhonda Sear said the Orange region had built an enviable reputation as a producer of quality food and wine.

“For over two decades the region’s producers have been showcasing Orange,” she said.

“This has been instrumental in bringing visitors to the region.

“Over the past few years, we have extended this to ensure more tourism-related businesses have benefited from the work done.” 

Anyone interested in organising an event for the festival in February or becoming a volunteer should contact Sandra Taylor at Taste Orange on 6360 1990.

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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