Sto­ry­time theme a hit for fes­ti­val

Warragul & Drouin Gazette - - NEWS - By Emma Balin­gall Once upon a time in Drouin there was a highly suc­cess­ful stag­ing of the 29th Fi­ci­fo­lia Fes­ti­val.

Or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee president Vin Bibby said the “Story Time” themed fes­ti­val “went re­ally well”.

A high­light of the 10-day pro­gram packed with al­most 30 events was the tra­di­tional street pa­rade on Satur­day.

Held in sun­shine along a new route in Young St, Mr Bibby said it was “very suc­cess­ful” with “the new route prov­ing a win­ner, es­pe­cially from an op­er­a­tions point of view”.

While it was dif­fi­cult to es­ti­mate the crowd lin­ing the street to view the pa­rade of schools, com­mu­nity groups and emer­gency ser­vices em­brac­ing the Story Time theme, Mr Bibby be­lieved it to be around 2500 peo­ple.

“The crowd vis­i­bil­ity was en­hanced by the el­e­vated view­ing ar­eas,” he added.

An­other 1000 peo­ple packed into Civic Park for the Party in the Park, open-air cinema and fire­works fol­low­ing the 5pm pa­rade.

“I’ve never seen so many peo­ple in Civic Park,” said Mr Bibby. “The movie was sen­sa­tional.”

The in­au­gu­ral BMX com­pe­ti­tion cer­tainly im­pressed with amaz­ing tricks on dis­play for a crowd in the hun­dreds on Satur­day night.

“It was very pro­fes­sion­ally done,” said Mr Bibby. It also helped at­tract the youth de­mo­graphic to join the fes­ti­val.

The pub­lic was given “a big hug” from the com­mit­tee for its ap­pre­ci­a­tion of ac­tiv­i­ties staged on Satur­day as well as keep­ing the site rel­a­tively clean.

Mr Bibby said the rub­bish clean-up was min­i­mal and also thanked the ter­rific co­op­er­a­tion from Baw Baw Shire over the course of the fes­ti­val.

The art show was well re­ceived with a large crowd on hand for Thurs­day’s open­ing night and the an­nounce­ment of Rhonda Gray’s oil paint­ing “The Sound of Si­lence” as best in show.

Baw Baw Arts Al­liance president and art show direc­tor Kaye Lan­caster, along with co-judge Jan­ice Or­chard, praised the quality of work, with pri­mary school ex­hibits fea­tured in the ex­hi­bi­tion for the first time.

Lau­rel Foe­nan­der won best work by a Baw Baw res­i­dent while Max Brown won the first best young artist in show (pri­mary stu­dent) and Ai­dan We­ichard won an ac­qui­si­tion award.

Other win­ners in­cluded Scar­lett Daly for best ex­hibit by a sec­ondary stu­dent; David Doyle for best small work; Mar­garet Koop­mans for best still life; Dot Thorne for best mo­saic; Keltie Mullin for best print; Diana Wil­son for best sport­ing ex­hibit; Zoe Stavris for pho­tog­ra­phy; Kay Lan­cashire for wear­able art; Elis­a­beth Smooren­burg for best 3D; Rhonda Gray for best por­trait and Bob Hick­man for best land or seascape.

The 14th Ficfest po­etry night at the Old Drouin But­ter Fac­tory on Fri­day of­fered plenty of va­ri­ety to keep the au­di­ence en­thralled right up to the last minute.

Win­ner of the open mic out of five con­tenders was Kelvin Wil­son.

Ge­of­frey Gra­ham was MC and star of the show.

The Baw Baw Po­etry Group, lo­cal poet Jim Con­nelly and mu­si­cal acts all took part. In­for­ma­tive walks and talks were also a hit. The “Sto­ries of Drouin” crowd of some 70 peo­ple ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tions at the Drouin Li­brary.

A large group of walk­ers were sur­prised and de­lighted at the wealth of open spa­ces, re­ma­nent and planted trees and birdlife that makes Drouin so spe­cial dur­ing the tree and na­ture walk. It was hosted by the Friends of Drouin’s Trees.

The scare­crow trail at­tracted many en­tries with Bizzy But­ter­flies Play­group tak­ing out best in show and the peo­ple’s choice.

Mr Bibby said the 10-day fes­ti­val “all seemed to go off al­right to me”.

He said the high crowd num­bers on Satur­day could be at­trib­uted to the per­fect weather con­di­tions.

In con­trast, Mr Bibby said the “Mu­sic for the Peo­ple” con­cert held on Sun­day in wet weather only at­tracted about 100 peo­ple de­spite the high quality of acts.

“Re­ally that con­cert yes­ter­day was just ter­rific,” he said.

He sin­gled out the Baw Baw Singers and Mawarra Choir for their out­stand­ing per­for­mances.

The only dis­ap­point­ment from the fes­ti­val was the low crowd at the open­ing func­tion.

“It’s some­thing the com­mit­tee will se­ri­ously look at in fu­ture,” said Mr Bibby.

Cailean Thomas en­joyed tak­ing his go cart in the pa­rade with his fel­low cub/scouts. More pho­to­graphs p 24-25.

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