Youngsters prepare to take over Mathoura
THE key to Mathoura will be handed over to primary and preschoolers when the Mathoura Country Kids Festival arrives on November 4.
The town’s main street and park will be transformed into a ‘big day out’ for children from all over the district.
Together the youngsters will learn how to run a small town for the day while celebrating being a country kid.
Murray River Council mayor Chris Bilkey said country towns were the ‘‘cradles of good citizens’’.
‘‘It’s great to see that we get a chance to celebrate this while showing visitors how to have lots of fun,’’ he said.
Cr Bilkey said there were many advantages growing up in a country environment and there had never been a better time to highlight them.
‘‘Not only can you ‘take over’ a main street for a massive day-long party, you have a wonderful example of long time volunteers, small business people and people keen to teach,’’ he said.
‘‘The plan is for country towns, especially hidden gems like Mathoura, to thrive. A big part of that is celebrating the really great things – like the advantages of being a country kid.’’
Mathoura preschool director Michelle O’Sullivan said the school’s organising committee had received a lot of support from many corners of the community.
‘‘It is so great to see how clubs and volunteer groups, large and small, rally to help when there is something to be done and fun to be had,’’ she said.
‘‘The kids are loving the idea of taking over their town for a day and can’t wait to welcome lots more kids to Mathoura.’’
Preschool committee member and full-time volunteer Marie Crack said the festival would reflect many of the best things about growing up in the country.
‘‘After 67 years here, I can say that knowing your neighbours, being able to get a small group of motivated peo- ple together to get good things done and people looking out for you are some of the greatest advantages,’’ Mrs Crack said.
‘‘I’ve learnt that in life you don’t sit back and wait for people to come to you. We hope this festival will spur some of that thinking in our youngest citizens.’’
A petting zoo, toy library, face painting, market stalls, live entertainment, a skate competition, raffles and sausage sizzle are some of the activities planned for the day.
The children have also decided to import crowd-pleasers from Bendigo-based entertainment experts The Zone, which will operate a large open air laser tag arena, inflatable Zorb balls floating in pools and an 8m Cars-themed slide.
Entry is a gold coin and all ride passes are priced from $5 to $20.
The proceeds will fund education initiatives at the two Mathoura schools.
For information, visit the festival’s Facebook page.