Street pa­rade opens FeNaCING fun

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Ali­cia Per­era

The 2017 FeNaClNG Fes­ti­val started with a fun-filled street pa­rade last Fri­day night be­fore thou­sands of peo­ple flocked to Bul­garra Oval for two days of rides, mar­ket stalls and live en­ter­tain­ment. Among those at the 45th an­nual event were Dan Ped­er­sen and the stu­dents of Tam­brey Pri­mary School, pic­tured with their float.

Some fresh up­dates to a beloved for­mat have led to the 45th an­niver­sary FeNaClNG Fes­ti­val be­ing hailed a big suc­cess.

Thou­sands of peo­ple turned out to Bul­garra Oval on Satur­day and Sun­day for a week­end full of rides, mar­ket stalls and en­ter­tain­ment at one of the Pil­bara’s big­gest an­nual events, or­gan­ised by Kar­ratha Dampier Lions Club.

Club pres­i­dent Wayne Dono­hoe and trea­surer Kerry Dono­hoe said they had been over­whelmed with pos­i­tive feed­back for this year’s fes­ti­val, which they cred­ited to changes to the stan­dard for­mat.

“It’s now more aimed at fam­i­lies with younger kids,” Mr Dono­hoe said.

“We aim at ev­ery as­pect of fam­ily, no mat­ter what the age any­more, and each year we’ve been chang­ing it over the past cou­ple of years.”

“It’s to get ev­ery­one in­volved, that’s the whole idea.”

Changes to the tra­di­tional float pa­rade, an of­fi­cial open­ing from the WA Pre­mier, a Chi­nese lion dance and ex­tra ad­di­tions to the chil­dren’s en­ter­tain­ment line-up were among the new at­trac­tions at this year’s fes­ti­val.

They joined all the sta­ples of FeNaClNG in­clud­ing adrenalinepump­ing rides, show­bags and a huge va­ri­ety of food vans and mar­ket stalls.

Aus­tralian 80s band GANG­ga­jang were the head­line act and rocked the main stage on Satur­day night, while on Sun­day, Cree­dence Clear­wa­ter Re­vival trib­ute band Proud Mary got peo­ple of all ages up and danc­ing be­fore the 2017 fes­ti­val fin­ished with a spectacular fireworks dis­play.

Early es­ti­mates were the event had raised more than $40,000 to go back into com­mu­nity ini­tia­tives.

Pre­mier Mark McGowan opened the fes­ti­val on Satur­day morn­ing and re­vealed he did in fact know what FeNaClNG stood for dur­ing a ques­tion-and-an­swer ses­sion with MC Mar­garet Bertling.

He said 45 years of the fes­ti­val was an “amaz­ing” achieve­ment and thanked the Lions Club for not only run­ning it, but keep­ing it rel­e­vant to the times.

“I’ve been along to this event a few times in the last few years and I’ve al­ways been ex­tremely im­pressed by how big, com­pre­hen­sive, di­verse and how much fun peo­ple have at this event over the course of the week­end,” he said.

“I know that peo­ple come from far afield to be part of this event, both stall­hold­ers and vis­i­tors . . . so it shows the strength and ex­cite­ment and ac­tiv­ity that’s in­volved.”

Speaking at the open­ing, City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter Long said the fes­ti­val had grown a lot over its 45-year his­tory. Other high­lights of this year’s event were the re­turn of the en­ter­tain­ing Apex Iron Man Chal­lenge af­ter a long hia­tus and the re-nam­ing of the Lions Club bar to Lou Sam­son’s Wa­ter­ing Hole, in trib­ute to a for­mer longterm Lions Club pres­i­dent.

When asked why FeNaClNG was still go­ing strong af­ter 45 years, Mr and Mrs Dono­hue said it was an event which brought the com­mu­nity to­gether and showed them at their best. “We’re the only ones that are free and we’re the only ones that ev­ery­one can get some­thing out of,” Mrs Dono­hoe said.

“(FeNaClNG) brings out the best in our busi­nesses, our in­dus­try and our peo­ple.”

Mr and Mrs Dono­hoe thanked all the com­mit­tee mem­bers, volunteers and spon­sors in­volved.

Pic­ture: Marg Bertling/ Pil­bara Site Pics

Pic­tures: Ali­cia Per­era

Desert Princess fairies Faime Chap­pell, Tinissa Kra­nen­donk and Court­ney McFar­land.

Polly, Shane, Jed, 12, and Tay­lah Har­court, 3.

Donna Stace with Ella, 9, Siob­han, 3, and Cait­lyn Stace, 6.

Belinda Williams and Kur­tis Black­burn.

Pre­mier Mark McGowan.

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