Festival riding a wave of success

Crowds for the Surfing the Coldstream Festival seem to grow every year.
Crowds for the Surfing the Coldstream Festival seem to grow every year. Lynne Mowbray

THERE have been plenty of ups and downs since Yamba's first community festival in 2005, but Surfing the Coldstream has matured into one of the most anticipated events in the Lower Clarence.

So many people had such a good time at last year's festival it really showed how much it has grown, Ilma Hynson, a long-term member of the management committee, said.

"I think we have had all sorts of trials and tribulations but people are really starting to value our community festival and they are backing us a lot more now. They realise it is not just a one-off, that the there is a real passion for it. Now people are looking forward to it more and more," she said.

Dom Ferry provided the initial spark for the festival after arriving in the area from Perth, with a background in busking.

He was well connected and had plenty of contacts, said Bev Mansfield, a founding committee member.

"People still talk about the first festival when we had the big parade down the hill; Coldstream St was closed off to cars, there were fireworks," she said.

"This is where the festival got its name."

Over the years the committee has had to learn to work within budget and try not to do too much.

"Earlier festivals went over a whole weekend but it was hard to keep energised for this long," Ms Mansfield said.

The committee earns money from running the monthly Yamba market and uses this to fund the festival, which hasn't received any government grants this year.

The parade at this year's festival will travel through Flinders Park and all community groups and individuals are encouraged to join in, said organiser Kirra Muegge.

"It is all about winged creatures so dress up as a bat, a fairy or bird, anything to do with flight," she said.

Topics:  community, entertainment, festival, surfing the coldstream festival, yamba




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