Two milestones celebrated in one
Two of Exmouth’s biggest upcoming events will be combined into one in 2017.
Celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the town of Exmouth and the Harold E Holt Naval Communication Station, and the official opening of community hub the Ningaloo Centre will be held together in a multiple-day event around September 16, 2017, the Shire council decided at a meeting last week.
The Ningaloo Centre is sched- uled to open in late April 2017 while the town’s 50th anniversary date is September 16, meaning a combined event would only affect the centre.
Shire of Exmouth community engagement executive manager Rogé Kempe, who co-ordinates council events, said there was a precedent in the town’s 30th anniversary celebrations, which incorporated the opening of Exmouth Harbour.
He said the Ningaloo Centre would be the main venue for showcasing town anniversary celebra- tions, with talks and activities held there. “It gives us an opportunity to have a really big celebration, and not spread ourselves too thin,” he said.
“By combining them, we will do justice to both events.”
“It will be one big event that celebrates the last 50 years of Exmouth and how people lived here, but it’s also about looking towards the future the Ningaloo Centre symbolises.”
Councillors considered other benefits of a combined event were saving costs, maximising prepara- tion time and VIP attendance, and resolving Ningaloo Centre teething issues before its official opening.
Exmouth Visitor Centre general manager Kristy Bryan-Smith said a mid-September combined event fit in well in the Exmouth tourist season.
“Although September falls during the peak season, the demand for accommodation and tours isn’t as high as other months, so there will still be plenty of availability for people wanting to visit the region and join in the celebrations,” she said. “I would expect to see a boost in visitation from surrounding regional towns, past Exmouth residents and international travellers from America.”
Mr Kempe said the event’s focus on the 50th anniversary would not detract from the Ningaloo Centre opening because it will be “more than cutting a ribbon and saying ‘have a look at what’s in the Ningaloo centre’ — we’re actually adding something to it”.
He said the event itinerary would be finalised about June and the Shire welcomed input.