Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Autumn Festival cancelled

The 2014 Berrigan Autumn Festival has been cancelled due to a lack of support.

February 19, 2014 1:22pm

The Berrigan Lions Club has been forced to cancel the 2014 Autumn Festival due to a lack of support.

Lions president Inara Fox said it was a hard decision for the club, but said it had no other choice.

She said the growing insurance costs for the event have also had a huge impact on its future, saying those costs are eating into funds that can be held over for next year’s event, which Lions are hopeful will return.

‘‘There was just a lack of support from the community to help run the event,’’ Mrs Fox said.

‘‘We tried to get football clubs interested in the Big Kick event again, but there was little response.

‘‘The biggest killer is the insurance – Lions has their own liability insurance but there were some events it did not cover and we had to put a bit extra on top.

‘‘After a whole year of work to get the 2013 event going, we only made $169 profit.

‘‘The Lions just got disheartened by the whole thing.’’

The Autumn Festival replaced the annual Canola Festival, which featured a number of new events last year.

The Big Kick competition was the most anticipated of the new events, and rewarded the person with the highest football kick. Entrant had to kick over a banner held up by two 43m high Babcon cranes.

The Autumn Festival also featured a tractor pull and lawn mower races, which always draw a crowd.

There was a brumby display and static displays of steam engines, vintage cars and motorbikes as well.

Also keeping festival goers busy was an art, craft and quilt exhibition and sale at the Memorial Hall, a twilight cinema, live entertainment, a Lego competition, Nitro car demonstration, dodgem cars, show rides and a jumping castle.

Berrigan Shire Mayor Bernard Curtin said it was a shame the event had to be abandoned this year, saying he sympathised with the organisers.

‘‘I believe they found it quite hard to get workers and enough interest for events like the Big Kick.

‘‘Last year was the first attempt at a new format and I think there was a bit of disappointment about a lack of support.

‘‘These things take a bit or organising and I do encourage people to get on board for next year.

Mrs Fox said while disappointed to have to cancel the event this year, the Berrigan Lions Club is not giving up on it altogether.

She also said Lions is working on a number of other events to help fill the void.

‘‘We will be trying to get support for next year, but in the meantime there are a few other things we’re doing this year instead,’’ she said.

‘‘We have the public speaking competition on Wednesday (tonight) and are hosting an Easter egg hunt in April.’’

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