Renmark Paringa Council has endorsed an event proposal which will see a new event for Christmas 2019!
Why a new event?
The Renmark Pageant event, as delivered in the past, holds a high level of emotional attachment for many long term residents. It was an event organised by a fantastic team of volunteers and was traditionally held on the first Friday in December. In recent years the format was slightly altered in that the event was changed to a Saturday and through circumstances beyond control such as bad weather saw a decline in attendance numbers. The Renmark Pageant Committee have done a wonderful job over a number of years, bringing the community together to celebrate the festive season, have advised that none of the current five members are looking to continue for the 2019 event. It was identified by Council that there was a risk emerging for the Christmas 2019 period whereby there may be no Christmas celebration at all. Therefore in anticipation of this risk, Council staff researched similar events in the region, state and interstate to find a model which was new and suited our community. A refreshed event structure has been proposed that endeavours to capture the essence of Christmas, create economic outcomes, build community spirit and encourage social interaction.
Through consultation, Council staff established that many people and families are extremely busy at the end of November / early December with work shows, sport and school activities and that many have not even contemplated Christmas and the many aspects associated with this time of year. Though, once school / scheduled activities have finished and workers start to look forward to an impending break over the festive season, spirit starts to build and they look to relax and enjoy the lead up to the week before Christmas.
The proposed event, aims to enhance the festive spirit by hosting the event on the last Friday before Christmas, creating a wonderful opportunity for workers to celebrate the end of the working year, friends and family to return home to reconnect, visitors to arrive in the district and families to mark the first week of school holidays. This event will seek to activate the Renmark Riverfront with activities such as; live music entertainment, niche gift stalls, family and roving entertainment , food and coffee trucks, potential for Renmark Hotel and Renmark Club to offer beverage sales on the Riverfront, Santa’s Cave, fireworks or laser light show and accompanied with a community style parade. In turn, this date change creates unique youth engagement opportunities through school holiday activities at Council sites, Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) facilities and brings together the community at the most special time of the year. Events similar to the proposed format have been proven successful in other locations around the State, including Robe and Victor Harbor. A local focus would apply to the event with local suppliers engaged (where possible) to ensure the economic footprint created by the event stays within the region.
Council staff will now scope the project in detail and will seek to establish a Community Champion Group to assist with the development of the event, in particular the parade. Details regarding this will be promoted via Council’s media platform in the coming weeks.
We hope this event is successful so save the date for Friday 20 December 2019 and tell friends and family who are returning for the festive season to do the same!