The hugely popular Batlow Ciderfest will be held May 16.
Chair of Batlow Ciderfest Committee Ray Billing put the call-out to the community of Batlow and supporting agencies to attend a meeting on Monday.
Twenty-one people answered the call to address a packed agenda; the first item being ‘is Batlow Ciderfest 2020 on?’
Everyone present voted to stage the long-running street party again, a result which backed up the many people who had approached Ray encouraging him in the same direction.
There was a degree of urgency in discussions as there are only three and a half months remaining to organise the event which is held on the third Saturday in May.
Newly appointed Executive Director for Community & Corporate, Paul Holton, delivered written permission from Snowy Valleys Council to stage the event, and he promised full support from his team.
Miriam Hewson, Snowy Valleys Council Destination Marketing Officer, noted the importance of Batlow Ciderfest as the event that attracts the largest number of tourists in the Snowy Valleys Region.
Kevin Dodds, Department of Primary Industries Temperate Fruits Development Officer, suggested that following the fire the crowd could swell to greatly increased numbers of patrons wanting to support Batlow’s recovery.
There followed a discussion about whether to cap numbers or to expand the footprint of the event. The matter was referred to the next meeting after a sub-committee reassesses facilities and infrastructure in Batlow.
The meeting decided to create a paid position for an administrator to support the Committee, and the job description will be advertised shortly.
An unfilled position from the Annual General Meeting – Volunteer Coordinator, was eagerly filled by a team of five coordinators who will meet as a sub-committee.
Australian Defence Force representative and former Batlow resident, Army Chaplain Marcaus Muller was impressed by the number of people who turned up and their willingness to support Ciderfest saying, “I had no idea it was such a big event.”
Richie Robinson from Destination Riverina also offered full support, particularly with grant applications and marketing.
Tickets will be available early February via on-line, through prepaid tickets at outlets around the shire, and at the gate. Entry fees were set at: Under 18 free; Adult Pre-Purchase $15/Gate Fee $20; Concession Pre-Purchase $10/Gate Fee $10.
Many details are being reviewed and will be finalised at the next meeting on Monday February 3, at 7pm at Batlow RSL.