Ephe­mera can stand alone as an­nual event

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

TOWNSVILLE’S Strand Ephe­mera has proven to again be a huge hit, with mas­sive crowds flock­ing to the city’s wa­ter­front to look at the dis­plays of art.

Busi­nesses on The Strand have been cash­ing in with the ex­tra num­ber of vis­i­tors pro­duc­ing a wel­come spike in trade.

The pub­lic art fes­ti­val is held ev­ery two years but this year’s event has been so pop­u­lar there are now calls for it to be held an­nu­ally.

A sim­i­lar although larger- scale event in Syd­ney, Sculp­ture by the Sea, has been held an­nu­ally since 1997 and has be­come a ma­jor tourism at­trac­tion.

The Syd­ney event fea­tures more than 100 sculp­tures com­pared with the Townsville dis­play which this year fea­tured about 30 art­works.

De­spite the dif­fer­ence in scale, there is no rea­son why Townsville can’t use the suc­cess of the Syd­ney event as mo­ti­va­tion to make Strand Ephe­mera an an­nual at­trac­tion.

This would in­crease the po­ten­tial to mar­ket the event to an even wider au­di­ence.

Townsville al­ready has a busy win­ter cal­en­dar of sport­ing and cul­tural events, in­clud­ing the Aus­tralian Fes­ti­val of Cham­ber Mu­sic and Townsville Run­ning Fes­ti­val, both of which over­lapped with Strand Ephe­mera.

Find­ing a spot on the cal­en­dar where Strand Ephe­mera can stand alone may be dif­fi­cult but should be ex­plored.

It de­serves to have its own slot, free of com­pe­ti­tion.

Any­one who took the time to visit Strand Epe­he­mera, par­tic­u­larly in the even­ing, would have come away im­pressed with the buzz it cre­ated.

Townsville needs to en­sure that buzz is gen­er­ated more reg­u­larly and hold­ing Strand Ephe­mera an­nu­ally is wor­thy of a trial at least.

Whale col­li­sion sends warn­ing

SAT­UR­DAY’S fright­en­ing col­li­sion be­tween a whale and a char­ter boat in the Whit­sun­days should be a cause for con­cern for the North’s boat­ies.

It is a star­tling re­minder of the dan­ger these huge mam­mals can pose in north­ern wa­ters at this time of the year.

They are head­ing north where many of the fe­males will give birth be­fore they re­turn south in late spring.

Sat­ur­day’s in­ci­dent had the po­ten­tial to be much more se­ri­ous and although it could be con­sid­ered freak­ish, it is clear ev­i­dence whales are po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous and boat­ies need to al­ways be on alert for their pres­ence.

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