RUN, FEAST AND CHILL
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.”
EXCITING WEEKEND: London- based Australian saxophonist Amy Dickson has arrived in Townsville to perform at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music.