The lanterns have died out, musicians have packed up and gone home, and everyone is recovering after a huge weekend at the 2013 Kalari-Lachlan River Arts Festival.
This year’s festival was an astounding success and impressed all who attended the celebration of art and culture in our region.
“It exceeded all our expectations,” said president and co-founder of the River Arts Festival committee, Merrill Findlay.
“The number of people who came were in the thousands, especially for the lantern parade and Drumming Up Country finale.
“The weather could not have been more perfect and the lake and setting were picture-postcard gorgeous.”
There was something for everyone’s taste at the festival with more than 35 stalls and a variety of performances and activities over the weekend.
“There were so many unique experiences, which is what a good festival should be,” Ms Findlay said.
“People were clearly enjoying themselves…some people didn’t want to leave when we were packing up at 11pm!”
The River Arts Festival has proved once again to be a great community event that is likely to continue to grow over the years.
According to Ms Findlay there were so many highlights of the weekend, it is hard to name just a few.
“There were so many very special moments in the festival that people will never forget,” Ms Findlay said.
“We’ll have a rainbow of astonishing memories now.”
For most people, the highlights were the spectacular lantern parade and Drumming Up Country which were very popular on the Saturday night.
Ms Findlay says that the participation of our local councillors was a personal highlight for her.
“Having them actively involved was wonderful,” she said.
“I also loved the dragon boats and dotting of the eyes, and the children dancing was very special.”
Ms Findlay says it was also a great privilege to have five plays by Central West Playwrights performed as part of the festival.
“The audience was just spellbound,” she said.
“That is something I hope to continue, and maybe in 2015 we’ll have one or two plays by Forbes people.”
The festival would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of the volunteers and committee members, who Ms Findlay says gave everything to the festival.
“They worked so hard to bring it all about and against all the odds we had a wonderful festival,” she said.
“A small group of people made an extraordinary event happen and I’m eternally proud of what they’ve achieved.
“I’m also proud of the community for hosting such a fabulous event.”