The Western Star - - Front Page - Ellen Rans­ley ellen.rans­[email protected]

CHRIST­MAS might be more than three months away but lo­cal busi­nesses are al­ready get­ting in the Yule­tide spirit with the an­nounce­ment a pa­rade would re­turn to the town’s streets this


A re­gional Christ­mas street party will take to McDowall St on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 6.

With Tah­nee Hol­land from Gifts at Teacup, Sharni Beck from Loot, Gabby Bar­ron from Gre­tel Lane, the Western Star and Mara­noa Re­gional Coun­cil, the pa­rade will be a cul­mi­na­tion of an ef­fort to drive lo­cal shop­ping.

Ms Beck said it was about get­ting ev­ery­one to­gether for a com­mu­nity-based event.

“The pa­rade was re­ally missed last year and we wanted to see it hap­pen again,” she said.

“We’re hop­ing to see it be­come a tra­di­tion. Hope­fully with coun­cil now on board it will be eas­ier to make that hap­pen.”

In the lead-up to the event, the My Mara­noa pro­gram is set to in­cen­tivise lo­cals to keep their money lo­cal while Christ­mas shop­ping.

“We want to en­cour­age small busi­ness shop­ping and shop­ping lo­cally,” Ms Beck said.

“We’re try­ing to get the com­mu­nity to keep their money lo­cal.”

Coun­cil­lor Cameron

O’Neil said not only from his ca­pac­ity as port­fo­lio chair for events and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment but also as a lo­cal, he was ex­cited to see the event come to fruition.

“We can high­light the ini­tia­tives we have been pur­su­ing for some time around en­gag­ing lo­cal busi­nesses through the My Mara­noa pro­gram and it’s about part­ner­ing with key in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses in the com­mu­nity,” he said.

“There are op­por­tu­ni­ties to stim­u­late the lo­cal econ­omy.

“From my per­spec­tive, I am re­ally ex­cited be­cause it was en­er­getic busi­ness own­ers who brought it to us ask­ing us to part­ner to fa­cil­i­tate the event. It’s about work­ing col­lec­tively with key busi­ness hold­ers in town to make it a suc­cess.”

The Star’s Greg Latta said My Mara­noa was about lo­cal busi­nesses sup­port­ing each other, a pro­gram adapted from neigh­bour­ing Western Downs Re­gional Coun­cil.

“The coun­cil has come on board with some­thing they al­ready had in place and we’ve come on board as their me­dia part­ner,” he said.

Mrs Bar­ron said now they needed help from the com­mu­nity to en­sure the pa­rade was the best event it could be.

“If any­body wants to come on board and help spon­sor some of the ac­tiv­i­ties we’ve got planned, we would love to hear from them,” she said.

“We’re set­ting up an ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, so any lo­cal busi­ness own­ers or com­mu­nity mem­bers in­ter­ested in be­ing part of that are en­cour­aged to join.

“This isn’t just a Roma event, it’s a whole re­gion­wide event, so we want busi­nesses in Su­rat, In­june, Mitchell, Yuleba and Wal­lum­billa to get on board as well.”

If you are in­ter­ested in be­ing part of the group, email your ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est to [email protected]­noa. qld.gov.au by Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 25.

The first meet­ing of the group is sched­uled for 10am on Thurs­day, Septem­ber 26, with the group set to meet weekly un­til the event.

❝ The pa­rade was re­ally missed last year and we wanted to see it hap­pen again

— Sharni Beck


THINK LO­CAL: Tah­nee Hol­land from Gifts at Teacup, Greg Latta from the Western Star, Gabby Bar­ron from Gre­tel Lane, Mara­noa Re­gional coun­cil­lor Cameron O’Neil and Sharni Beck from Loot an­nounce the Christ­mas pa­rade’s re­turn.

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