Corowa parade may have had final call

Corowa's annual Federation Festival parade may be coming to a close. Picture: KYLIE ESLER
Corowa's annual Federation Festival parade may be coming to a close. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

COROWA’S annual New Year’s Eve fireworks show has been cancelled and the town’s iconic Australia Day Federation Festival parade is in danger.

The Federation Festival committee, which has organised both events, has been disbanded and the search for a replacement group to ensure the parade goes ahead will be launched next week.

Corowa Council has reluctantly disbanded the committee led by former mayor Gary Poidevin.

Mr Poidevin is a member of Corowa Rotary Club, which has agreed to run the town’s B&S ball, markets and Australia Day entertainment, but not the parade.

“We haven’t got the capabilities of doing the parade,” he said.

“We will assist, but we need someone else or group to come in and take that on.

“There is a fair bit of paperwork and chasing of entrants to do.

Mr Poidevin said it wasn’t too late for another group to step forward to organise the parade.

“It is usually from August onwards we start organising the bands for the parade,” he said.

“As far as getting invitations out to organisations to participate and their insurances in order there is still time.”

The parade is held on the Sunday of the Australia Day weekend and marks the 1893 conference at Corowa that led to federation.

It was moved from its traditional mid-morning start to 5pm this year.

Last year, Sydney Swans coach John Longmire returned to his home region to take part in the parade with the premiership cup.

The New Year’s Eve fireworks show has been running for three years, but had been expensive to stage.

An admission price of $10 was charged but organisers had still been unable to cover their costs.

“It has been too big a financial burden on our fund-raising,” Mr Poidevin said.

“We’ve done our best to make it happen.

“With security and other things it is over $20,000.

“It has hard to get that money back in.”

The council’s corporate and community services director Kristy Kay said she hoped an expressions of interest process could flush out a suitable group to ensure the parade went ahead.

“The Federation Festival Committee has been a section 355 committee of council for many years and has provided wonderful events and opportunities for the community,” she said.

“The council is very grateful to those on the committee who have volunteered their time and supported the growth of tourism.

“We will facilitate a formal process seeking expressions of interest from any individuals or organisations to run the Federation Festival Parade.

“We look forward to continuing to support a vibrant calendar of events in Corowa Shire.”