Forbes Shire Council Mayor Phyllis Miller says was “really excited” by the attendance at the Forbes Australia Day Festival on Tuesday. The Council experimented with a new celebration format this year, moving away from the traditional parade through the town centre to having a festival at Colin McKenzie Park.
The Festival had food and drink stalls, live entertainment on the main stage, display vehicles from the local fire brigade and State Emergency Service units, and kids rides. There was also dragon boat racing and the Ben Hall Gift foot races. The official presentation ceremony of the junior and senior Forbes Citizen of the Year awards
took place on the main stage. Cr Miller said she was impressed with the number of people that attended the festival. “It’s a new format and I’m really excited about the crowd that we had on the day,” she said.
“Having a foot race is a new event for Australia Day, and I think there’s a great opportunity to build on that and build the prize money so we will get people here that want to participate.” Cr Miller said the idea of changing this year’s Australia Day format was to have an environment where families could gather together.
“It’s about trying to create a family day where families come together and celebrate together for Australia Day, and I suppose really enjoy the community in which they live” she said. While Cr Miller said there would always be an Australia Day event in Forbes, the format of next year’s festivities would still be up for consultation.
“I will wait until we get feedback and not be presumptuous and decide ‘yes, we are doing this again’. We’ll wait until we get feedback from the community,” she said.