Young­sters pre­pare to take over Mathoura

The Riverine Herald - - NEWS -

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.

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