It’s certainly that time of the year, yet again.
In the run-up to Christmas there can sometimes seem to be a never-ending list of events to attend.
There’s the work parties, the street celebrations, the break-up for sports and a whole gamut of social clubs.
While the celebrations need always be tempered by common sense, such as not drinking too much alcohol, not drink-driving and by always showing respect for others, these also provide a tremendous community of spirit.
This can be a welcome diversion from the ordinary, everyday hard slog that life sometimes serves up to us, from getting kids through another school year to looking out for and caring for loved ones and maintaining a degree of health and happiness.
It is why these gatherings can be such a feel-good boost for us all.
And you need not be worried about being excluded because you don’t have family or wider community connections.
All people need to do is grab a chair and a picnic blanket to set themselves up for the live entertainment on show.
That’s in addition to the market stalls and a range of cultural and sporting activities at the celebration, which will run from 6pm to 9pm.
The organisers of what is now the fifth incarnation of the event should be congratulated on something that goes right to the generous heart of our community.
As co-organiser and committee member Darren Harris says, the commitment is to providing a safe and healthy environment for all at the festival.
And at a time when agencies have raised concern about the likely festive season increase in the misuse of alcohol and the potential for violence as a result, the event is certainly a welcome antidote.
“The festival,” Mr Harris says, “focuses on building an inclusive community and strengthening cultural community connections”.
We wish the festival every success.
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