Alpine Observer

Brightest day of all

Annual festival estimated to have attracted 10,000

- By JUSTIN JENVEY

LAST weekend’s Brighter Days Festival was expected to be the biggest and best one yet and the 2017 edition certainly lived up to its billing.

With ARIA Hall of Famers Mental as Anything and Joe Camilleri headlining Saturday’s entertainm­ent organisers estimate close to 10,000 people packed into How- itt Park on Saturday and a crowd just as big turned out on Sunday to see Chocolate Starfish and Screamin’ Eagles close out the weekend.

The committee also expects to tally a huge amount for two charities, the DEBRA Foundation (Dystrophic Epidermoly­sis Bullosa Research Associatio­n) and SUDC ( Sudden Unexplaine­d Death in Childhood).

Brighter Days treasurer and Screamin’ Eagles member Matt Powell said the weekend kicked off with 1000s making their way to Mafeking Square on Friday night.

“The setting is what makes the event what it is, it’s a great place to spend a weekend particular­ly down there in Howitt Park,” Mr Powell said.

“We wondered if we might outgrow it but we made some changes this year, spent more on infrastruc­ture and the way we ran things allowed us to accommodat­e more people

“My guess last year was that there were between 6000-7000 people but it was noticeably bigger again; there were easily 8000 people and the exact figure was probably pushing 10,000.

“It was another good fundraisin­g effort and we should be up by about 10 per cent on last year.”

The massive weekend of entertainm­ent also included Jar- ryn, Col Jones, Tesky Bros, Turk Tresize, Mick Pealing Band and Cool Change on Saturday along with Mr Bluez, Jacuzzi Masterpiec­e, Raw Britt and Wingspan the following day.

Cars and bikes were also another feature of the weekend with Bright’s Louie Sgambellon­i winning one of the major raffle prizes, a new Harley Davidson Street 500 valued at $11,500.

Bright Chamber of Commerce president Tom Smith said it’s great to see events like Brighter Days attracting more people to the town.

“It’s a long weekend so it’s always going to be busy in Bright but I think it is bringing more people here,” he said.

“It’s certainly bringing a crowd that might not have come here at this time of year previously.

“Everyone I have spoken to that was down there at one stage said how fantastic it was and I’m sure a lot of businesses will be happy.”

It was another busy weekend for the both the Ovens and Kiewa Valleys with a new look Myrtleford Festival proving hugely successful while more than 1500 cyclists came to the region for the Peaks Challenge at Falls Creek.

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