Feedback says festival’s a winner

Feedback says festival’s a winner

The changes to the format of the Orbost Christmas Eve Festival were well received by the community according to a review of the event by the committee.

The weather on Christmas Eve was perfect, the night beginning with emcee, Mark Reeves, welcoming all and outlining the range of activities for the night.

The new activities for the 2018 festival included a bucking bull, games conducted by the hockey club, a basketball shoot off conducted by the basketball club, and a dunking machine, which was constructed by grade six students at Orbost Primary School.

The night was perfect for being dunked, and many locals spent time being dunked to cool off.

A highlight of the night was the circus performance by Ryan Davies, from Wacky Wombat Entertainment, with a range of juggling and unicycle activities.

The climax of his performance was a fire breathing display.

More than 200 children visited Santa and parents were appreciative of the new innovation of a numbering system to see Santa rather than having to queue for long periods.

The theme for the night was ‘something for everyone’; the market stalls providing an additional attraction for the adults while the children enjoyed the jumping castles and other entertainment.

Orbost Ambulance, SES, Marlo Coast Guard and the CFA had their units on display on the night and provided information to the public.

As usual the children loved the opportunity to climb over the fire units, blow the siren and more. An historic jeep also provided interest, particularly for the car enthusiasts.

Almost 50 houses in the Orbost and Marlo district had light displays in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Judges had a hard time given the number of excellent displays to be judged. The final awards announced on Christmas Eve were: outstanding displays: 7 Pardews Lane, Orbost, 51 Tennyson Street, Orbost, and 23 Mawson Street, Orbost; judges awards - 31 Majors Creek Road, Orbost, 10 Cherod Drive, Orbost, 45 Gladstone Street, Orbost, and 8 William Hunter Drive, Marlo; best novice display - 480 B Road, Jarrahmond.

A special mention went to Cherod Drive, Orbost, where there were five decorated houses, more than any other street in Orbost or Marlo.

The committee would like to say thanks on behalf of the community to all those who decorated their houses for the pleasure that you gave to many others who spent the nights prior to Christmas touring the town with their families and enjoying your efforts.

The committee would also like to thank the Snowy River Mail for the map of the town lights, which made it a lot easier for everyone to find the lights over the week prior to Christmas.

Winners of the Orbost District Chamber of Commerce lucky shopper draw were three Orbost residents: $500 voucher - Zoe Martin, $200 voucher - Alesha Farley, and $100 voucher – Denise Turner.

Winner of the Chamber of Commerce competition for the best decorated shop window was Classic Living Orbost and the runner up was the Snowy River Mail. The award for the best decorated window at night went to IGA.

Thanks to all those businesses who decorated their premises and added to the Christmas feel in Nicholson Street.

After the drawing of the raffles, the large festival crowd moved from Nicholson Street to Forest Park for the Carols by Candlelight where they were well entertained until dark.

The fireworks display then took over the entertainment with a spectacular display for a huge finale, lighting up the whole sky.

The organising committee from Orbost Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce wish to thank Cr Mark Reeves for taking on the role of emcee for the night and especially thanks the festival’s major sponsors and East Gippsland Shire Council support.

Without this support the festival could not continue.

The committee also acknowledged the many others who worked behind the scenes to make the night successful, particularly the CFA for its support work at the fireworks display.

The committee would love to hear from anyone with ideas to add to the night next Christmas Eve.