Kristin Barrass, vice-president of the Forbes Eisteddfod Committee, and Kristin Woods, the competition’s dance coordinator, certainly have something in common apart from first names. They’re both convinced that the event’s reputation as the “friendly eisteddfod” has much to do with it being able to attract more than 1500 entrants to its dance, music, speech and drama sections.
The contestants’ joy and the ease with which they’re approaching the dance section, which is currently on at the Forbes High School assembly hall, is testament to that. “Our eisteddfod is definitely seen as welcoming, comfortable, and great for building confidence and performance skills,” said Kristin Barrass. “That’s why we get so many first time competitors. They don’t feel as intimidated here as they do in some of larger, more formal eisteddfods.” And the entrants do come from far and wide — obviously many from Forbes itself, but also from Parkes, Eugowra, Grenfell, Orange, Bathurst, Leeton and Griffith, some indeed from as afar afield as southern Queensland.
“We’re all volunteers here,” said Kristin Woods. “Though we also get enormous support from the Forbes Shire Council and from sponsors such as the Northparkes Mine, the Forbes Services Club and McDonalds.” And both Kristins also have special words of praise and thanks for the guest adjudicators, Andrew Mortimer (Melbourne) and
Pamela Herring (Sydney).