OUR SAY: Thanks for the idea, Bathurst, now we can make it great | Poll

ALL LIT UP: A picturesque scene from Bathurst's Winter Festival.
ALL LIT UP: A picturesque scene from Bathurst's Winter Festival.

IN Tuesday’s Central Western Daily we published an article which explored the idea of replicating Bathurst’s winter festival.

Less than 24 hours later an editorial was published in Bathurst’s Western Advocate claiming the idea was simply the latest in a long list our city had poached from theirs.

Here is an abridged version of that piece:

“If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery then thank you, Orange, we accept your compliments.

Bathurst should not be surprised that there already seems to be a push on for Orange to start its own winter festival in years to come. After all, we have seen this from Orange before. 

When Bathurst introduced its New Year’s Eve fireworks in 2009, it was the first major Central West centre to do so.

As we know now, the fireworks were a great success and in the first few years drew hundreds of people to town from other areas across the Central West.

So it was no surprise when Orange City Council decided to copy the idea and run its own New Year’s Eve party.

Of course, Bathurst could never claim exclusive rights to the idea of fireworks on New Year’s Eve so we were happy to see Orange run its own (slightly less successful) event.

Now history is repeating with regards to the winter festival.

No one can dispute that should a similar festival take off in Orange the seeds were planted by Bathurst’s event, which ran over 16 days and attracted tens of thousands to the city’s CBD.

However the final line of the Advocate’s piece – “they will never do things quite as well as the original and best” – is debatable.

Take the New Year’s Eve fireworks, for example.

Orange’s first attempt in 2011 drew a bumper crowd of 6000. According to the Advocate’s story at the time, Bathurst had half that number at their 2010 version.

There’s every chance our version of a winter festival would replicate that.

A post on the Central Western Daily’s Facebook page about Bathurst’s Winter Festival was this week littered with complaints, many of which centred on long lines for food and rides, and closed attractions.

The organisers of Bathurst’s festival should be flattered by any discussion to replicate their idea.

There’s no shame in our doing so.

The only shame would be not making our version better than the original.



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