Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Festival that must go on

There are two festivals in Melbourne with the word "Bayside" in their names. The Bayside Festival was last held at Sandringham Foreshore on 28 March 2004 (Ref 1). The Altona Bayside Festival is the only remaining metropolitan Bayside Festival, if we exclude the St Kilda Festival and Williamstown Festival. Since March 1977, the Altona Bayside Festival has run for 33 years. You can read its history in an earlier post.

I am shocked to learn from Hobsons Bay Weekly that Operation Recreation Inc., the incorporated body responsible for organizing the Altona Bayside Festival, was put into administration last week and will not run a Festival in 2011 (Ref 2, 3, 4, 5). However, Tony Briffa, the Deputy Mayor of Hobsons Bay City and the Councillor for Altona/Seaholme, has reassured that the Festival continues to be funded by the Council and will go ahead next year. He is asking local community groups, schools and businesses to contact him if they would like to be involved in the 2011 Festival.

The 2011 Altona Bayside Festival with the theme "Century of Flight - Altona 1911 - 2011" are already being advertised in various websites such as those of Victoria Government, Tourism Victoria, ABC Online, Flight Centre and so on (Ref 6). I really hope that despite the problems, the Altona Bayside Festival will be successfully hosted next year and not suffer the same fate as the Bayside Festival in Sandringham. It has become an icon of Altona and an important event to Altona and the western suburbs. It has the elements and potential to achieve greater success and eminence. It is my great wish that it will flourish and become as equally celebrated as the St Kilda Festival.

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