By Nadia Surace
THE region’s largest annual children’s event, KidsFest which attracted just under 12,000 patrons last year, has received $5,000 as part of the State Government’s Country Victoria Events Program.
Announcing the funding last week Member for Shepparton, Jeanette Powell said the money will assist organisers of the family event aimed at families with children aged 0-12 years in planning this year’s event.
“I can remember cooking sausages on the barbeque here at the first KidsFest in 2006 and since then I’ve watched it grow enormously,” she explained.
“Regional events like KidsFest are supported by the Coalition because they not only demonstrate potential for increased economic benefit and visitation, but enhance the region’s tourism strengths and local community identity.
“People who come from outside the region stay locally and spend locally.”
Around 12,000 people attended KidsFest last year, more than half came from outside the Goulburn Valley.
KidsTown Coordinators, Steve Wilson and Tracey Biddle welcomed the funding.
“Three years ago KidsFest had around 5,000 visitors so things have really picked up recently,” Mr Wilson said.
“We’ll continue to develop our cross-media marketing campaign this year and this money will go a significant way toward that.”
Celebrating National Volunteers Week last week, Greater Shepparton Acting Deputy Mayor, Cr Michael Polan explained around 250 volunteers help make the event supported by Council possible.
“Events like this are very important as they bring people into the region,” he said.
“The staff do an incredible job of organising and co-ordinating it each year.”
KidsFest 2011 will be held Saturday May 24 – 25 September and again feature children’s entertainment, displays and activities.