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    Heath MacInnes and Gerry Miller (4) from Horsham bump into Robbie Miller on the Dodgem Cars

Kannamaroo committee rises through challenges

We just keep beating it. 

That was the sentiment of Horsham’s Kannamaroo Festival committee president Di Bell as she reflected on a rain-soaked event at the weekend. 

Organisers were forced to act quickly and make last-minute logistical changes to the event at Maydale Reserve, in the wake of a 25mm dumping and storms across the regional city on Friday. 

Storms brought a further 30mm of rain on Saturday. 

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It came after rain had forced the relocation of the 2022 event from Maydale Reserve to Horsham Plaza carpark, and modifications in 2020 and 2021 due to social distancing and health advice amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I want to say thanks to the committee for all their amazing, hard work,” Mrs Bell said. 

“Anyone who has run an event would understand that to rearrange an event within 48 hours is almost an impossible task – but we achieved it.” 

A children’s disco and other activities, family concert including singing and dancing with D-Railed and The Filos, and a performance from ‘The Voice’ contestant Ethan Conway went ahead, under cover, on Saturday – capping off the evening with the MIXX FM pyro-musical fireworks spectacular. 

Sunday’s market and children’s activities were relocated indoors, with performances from The Dancers Zone, Silver Strings ukulele troupe and Horsham Rural City Band helping to create a ‘great vibe’, including welcoming a visit from Santa. 

Simon Clark proceeded with the organising of a car and bike show, which raised money for Wimmera Against Cancer in Kids, WACK, and people donated Christmas gifts for The Salvation Army’s Christmas appeal. 

Mrs Bell said carnival rides and amusements were on offer across the weekend – with a donation returned to the committee for next year’s event, commemorating a more than 40-year working relationship between the festival and visiting amusements. 

She stressed the festival’s relocation back to its original home at the Wimmera River honoured its roots, and recognised that public liability insurance required to close Firebrace Street to host the event, as had occurred for some years, was too high for the non-profit volunteer group to fund. 

“If we’d been up the main street, it would have been all over, rover,” Mrs Bell said. 

“Some things we had planned couldn’t go ahead, but we moved what we could indoors – and we could only do that because of the amazing facilities at Maydale Reserve.” 

Mrs Bell said the committee would meet to debrief the event soon and intended to host a colour run in early 2024 to raise money for future events. 

The entire November 29, 2023 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire November 29, 2023 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!