New vision for festival
Wimmera German Fest will take a hiatus this year while a new steering committee considers ways to revamp the event for 2018.
Festival steering committee chairman Peter Daffy said the committee was in the process of appointing a new leader and would call for expressions of interest for new members in the coming months.
“The committee will meet soon and hopefully new members will bring new ideas to the table,” he said.
“We’re looking at changing the date to early 2018 so we can move it away from other Oktoberfest events in Melbourne and Adelaide.
“With so much happening in the region and across the state it can be hard to find a free weekend on the calendar.
“We’ll also consider changing the location.”
Run by Blue Ribbon Foundation’s Horsham branch, the festival celebrates the region’s German heritage through music, food and cultural activities while raising money for a good cause.
Blue Ribbon Foundation and steering committee members donated $5000 from last year’s event at Horsham Showground to Wimmera Health Care Group’s emergency department.
Mr Daffy said he was pleased with the figure.
“We didn’t have a huge crowd last year so I’m happy we were able to donate that much money,” he said.
“We were unlucky with the weather – it was a cold day with a few showers and it also clashed with a new blues festival at Halls Gap.
“Hopefully we’ll have more luck early next year and attract a bigger crowd. It has a lot of potential, we just need some fresh ideas to help grow it.”
Mr Daffy said he would step down from the committee but would continue to offer his support.
“It will be good to give someone else a turn,” he said.
“I would like to thank ACE Radio for its major support of the event in the past two years.”
The MIXX FM Wimmera German Fest started in 2015 after Blue Ribbon Foundation and Wimmera Health Care Group joined forces to reestablish a German food and culture celebration that had previously run at Dimboola for many years.