SATURDAY’S Batlow Apple Blossom Festival was a splendid reflection of the positive community spirit the hilltop town exudes as the welcome mat was rolled out for the 2014 event.
Sunshine, the aroma escaping from the smorgasbord of internationally-themed food choices and the delightful laughter and squeals coming from the children greeted the large crowd who attended this year’s festival.
With a healthy number of volunteers on board and many more chipping in throughout the day, Batlow Apple Blossom Festival committee member, Sarah Kynaston, said the day is being hailed as an overall success.
“Saturday was a great day and the feedback we have so far received has been positive,” Mrs Kynaston said. “The volunteers put in a huge effort and carried out a phenomenal amount of work. We always have a solid core who do the major work but then so many other people then stepped in on the day and helped. That’s what makes Batlow such a good community.”
Free activities for the young at heart including jumping castles, a small petting zoo, face painting, balloons from the talented Fisher family, pedal cars and horse and cart rides ensured the children experienced an enjoyable day without breaking the bank.
“Hosting free attractions for children so they could play all day long and in turn make the day great value for families was an important aspect when we were organising the day,” Mrs Kynaston said. “That was our bottom line; provide an inexpensive, fun day out for the family.”
Apart from the multitude of stalls that were offering everything from herbal remedies, rubs and tea to brightly coloured clothes and locally made soaps, the stage action was a popular drawcard with the brilliant and highly entertaining Wozza and his native animal buddies rocking the youngsters who took to the grass dance floor and sing and boogy along with the singer.
“One thing that was new this year and turned out great was Wozza,” Mrs Kynaston said. “The kids adored him and he also used local youths to dress up in the costumes. Initially he said he would donate $5 from each CD sale to Batlow’s Bridget Peel’s appeal, but once he saw she was in the crow, he donated $10 form each sale towards her.
“The music throughout the day was also great and while there wasn’t always a big crowd watching, it provided a good background mood.”
In the pavilion visitors could have been mistaken in thinking they were attending the Batlow Show with the seams of the building bursting with creativity, the intricate Tumut Branch Model Line display and a jam packed collection of antique home-wares from the Watkins family.
Food stalls were also in abundance with wood-fired pizzas, potato slinkies, sushi and the barbecue manned by locals serving up delicious food throughout the day.
As evening fell, another wave of people, this time loaded with local families and groups of youngsters, gathered on the showground oval with blankets and fold up chairs in tow, to watch the outdoor movie, Despicable Me 2 before being treated to a dazzling fireworks display courtesy of Snowy WS.
“The fireworks were the perfect finish to another great festival,” Mrs Kynaston said. “We had a good crowd support the movies with around 150 pizzas sold on the night along with countless hotdogs.
“We thank everyone who supported the event.”