Crowds flock to fes­ti­val

‘SEA OF PEO­PLE’ TO HER­ALD 40TH BIRTH­DAY

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Ali­son Bald­ing

A COLOUR­FUL pa­rade, rides and show­bags – the 40th St Marys Spring Fes­ti­val had it all.

Thou­sands of peo­ple en­joyed the sun­shine at the an­nual fes­ti­val on Satur­day, pack­ing Queen St.

Town cen­tre man­ager Paulette Adams said about 20,000 peo­ple gath­ered on the thriv­ing main street.

“Ev­ery­where you looked was a sea of peo­ple en­joy­ing them­selves,” Ms Adams said. It was the event’s 40th an­niver­sary and Ms Adams said the se­cret to longevity was a bal­anc­ing act.

“It all comes down to cater­ing to an au­di­ence and lis­ten­ing to what the com­mu­nity would like to see at next year’s event,” she said.

“You have to try to change things up, but at the same time stick­ing to what works for a fes­ti­val of this mag­ni­tude is al­ways a great idea.

“The St Marys com­mu­nity is ab­so­lutely amaz­ing. There is a sense of pride and pas­sion in the com­mu­nity.”

Ms Adams said the high­light this year was an award cer­e­mony held ear­lier in the month to of­fi­cially open the event.

Dur­ing the night the Citizen of the Year award was re­named the Com­mu­nity Spirit Award and awarded to Norma Thor­burn.

Ms Thor­burn joined Pen­rith Mayor Ross Fowler and other dig­ni­taries in the street pa­rade at the fes­ti­val. “High­lights from the day in­cluded great en­ter­tain­ment and shows on all three sta- ges through­out the day,” Ms Adams said.

She said a lot of be­hindthe-scenes chal­lenges were out­weighed by the re­ac­tions from fes­ti­val-go­ers, par­tic­u­larly chil­dren.

Pic­ture: DAMIAN SHAW

Ruby Roo was a hit dur­ing the street pa­rade.

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