Future of festival hangs in the balance

Urgent call to the community

Future of festival hangs in the balance Pexels

Griffith City Council has put an urgent call out for gardeners to come forward to help ensure the long-running Festival of Gardens goes ahead this year.

Chairperson of the Festival of Gardens Working Group, Councillor Rina Mercuri, said the festival was in danger of being cancelled unless new gardens were found to open from 12 to 14 October 2018 as part of Spring Fest.

“Unfortunately we have had two gardens drop out so we urgently need to replace them,” said Cr Mercuri.

“I don’t think people realise just how important this festival is to Griffith. Spring Fest injected approximately $2.6 million into the Griffith economy last year. We had 7,282 garden entries and 11,500 citrus sculpture patrons.

“That’s an amazing result for our festival and without the gardens we can’t do it.

“If we don’t have the Festival of Gardens there is a chance we could lose sponsors.”

Councillor Mercuri said she welcomes all gardens, big or small to be part of the event.

“We are getting very worried. We need at least two more gardens and we need them to let us know as soon as possible because we need to organise our program,” said Cr Mercuri

Better Homes and Gardens celebrity Jason Hodges has been secured as Spring Fest Ambassador for 2018. Mr Hodges will appear at the gardens and will be hosting workshops.

After a two-year break, long-time Festival supporters Lyndsay and Brian Sainty will open their garden in Carrathool Street again this year.

Mr Sainty is urging locals to get behind the event describing the experience as uplifting.

“It’s a really enjoyable, positive experience,” said Mr Sainty.

“We missed a couple of years because we were away, but we are happy to be in again.

“People may be reluctant because they think their privacy will be affected, but that’s not the case. We found that people coming through are friendly, respectful and considerate.

“You don’t have to go to a lot of extra trouble or have food or a heap of things. You don’t need to have a big garden either, more town gardens is what we really need.

“If you have a charity you want to support it’s a good way of helping raise some funds. Our charity is the Griffith Carevan.”

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