Spring fes­ti­val goes off

Alpine Observer - - Front Page - By STRUAN JONES

THE Bright Spring Fes­ti­val reached its cli­max last week­end, with an evening of mu­sic, food, car­ni­val rides, fire twirlers and fire­works at Pi­o­neer Park on Satur­day evening.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple packed onto the foot­ball oval for an evening of long-week­end-style fun and feast­ing, old-school pay­ing-for-things-with-ac­tual-money and bump­ing into friends and school­mates.

Fam­i­lies lounged about on pic­nic rugs, drank from plas­tic wine glasses and hacked into blocks of cheese while kids ran around like meerkats, duck­ing and weav­ing be­tween groups of peo­ple and camp­ing chairs.

When the sun went down and with the sounds of car­ni­val rides whirring in the back­ground, fire twirlers drew a huge crowd gath­ered in a ring.

Af­ter dark the tem­per­a­ture dropped, but no one seemed too both­ered. Peo­ple hugged their chests, cheered an­other glass of wine, and kids ran faster and danced harder once the band on the back of a truck started up, fill­ing the ring of peo­ple and food tents with mu­sic and en­ergy.

Lines in front of the food tents never short­ened, and end­less parcels of In­dian food, crepes, sausages in bread, paella, and even es­car­got were handed over.

At 9pm the band un­plugged and the flood­lights were shut off for the fire­works.

With the py­rotech­nics be­ing shot from the oval only 50 me­tres in front of the crowd, the fire­works ex­ploded over­head and gave the ap­pear­ance of the coloured em­bers rain­ing down di­rectly on top of the crowd, and many peo­ple lay flat on their back on the grass to watch.

The show it­self was spec­tac­u­lar, and drew ap­plause from the crowd at the end when the words ‘30 Years’ where lit up in fiery sparkles, com­mem­o­rat­ing the achieve­ment of a small com­mit­tee to gen­er­ate such en­ergy in a cer­tain town at a cer­tain time of year, ev­ery year.

If there was a mo­ment for all those in­volved to feel sat­is­fied with what had been achieved, that would have been it.

Also strad­dling the week­end was the Bright Ok­to­ber­fest.

The oom­pah-pah haus bands blew out merry tunes as crowds of hun­dreds stepped and swayed their way into the beer hall tent in Cen­te­nary Park, spilling out on plas­tic ta­bles and chairs by the river with a re­laxed Sun­day-af­ter­noon lethargy only a long week­end could per­mit.

While the beer kegs were rolled away for an­other year, the Spring Fes­ti­val pressed on, and the Rotary Mar­ket took over Ire­land Street on Mon­day morn­ing with over a hun­dred stalls.

The 2018 fes­ti­val wrapped up on Tues­day with fi­nal open gar­dens and art walks.

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