RUN, FEAST AND CHILL

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - VIC­TO­RIA NU­GENT vic­to­ria. nu­gent@ news. com. au

THIS week­end may be the big­gest on the re­gion’s win­ter cal­en­dar, with a run­ning fes­ti­val, out­door art­works, cham­ber mu­sic and Ital­ian food help­ing to draw thou­sands of peo­ple out for a jam­packed pro­gram.

The Aus­tralian Fes­ti­val of Cham­ber Mu­sic and Strand Ephemera both launch this week­end with the Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val and a Cowboys home game adding to the ac­tion around the city.

The Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val is al­ready pro­ject­ing a record num­ber of regis­tra­tions, with more than 3000 peo­ple ex­pected to have signed up by Sun­day.

Ing­ham is also brac­ing for a busy week­end, with Aus­tralian Ital­ian Fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers ex­pect­ing be­tween 8000 and 10,000 peo­ple to at­tend.

Townsville En­ter­prise tourism and events ex­ec­u­tive man­ager Brid­get Woods said it was shap­ing up to be a fan­tas­tic week­end.

“They’re all cater­ing to a dif­fer­ent au­di­ence,” she said.

“It’s the win­ter pe­riod that is our packed- event sea­son rather than just one month.

“I think the lo­cal com­mu­nity loves the fact we have such a vast ar­ray of events.”

Ms Woods said lo­cal busi­nesses would reap the re­wards from the visi­tors flock­ing to the re­gion for the week­end.

“Ho­tels are fore­cast­ing strong oc­cu­pancy lev­els ... ear­lier in the week a num­ber of them were al­ready full,” she said. Aus­tralian Fes­ti­val of Cham­ber Mu­sic gen­eral man­ager Sue Hack­ett said while they couldn’t give an idea of num­bers yet, sales for the open­ing week­end were track­ing well, with two events al­ready sold out.

“We’re ex­pect­ing full houses at open­ing night and the Gover­nor’s Gala,” she said. Ital­ian fes­ti­val di­rec­tor Donna Zan­otto said they were ex­pect­ing record crowds of visi­tors in Ing­ham, with many visi­tors in town al­ready await­ing the big event.

“Ev­ery­one who’s got a spare room or a spare bed is full.”

Pic­ture: SHAE BE­PLATE

EX­CIT­ING WEEK­END: Lon­don- based Aus­tralian sax­o­phon­ist Amy Dick­son has ar­rived in Townsville to per­form at the Aus­tralian Fes­ti­val of Cham­ber Mu­sic.

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