Fun and colourful festival

By Daniel Hughes

A colourful wonderland of sight and sound greeted 9500 people from throughout Australia at the 12th annual Strawberry Fields Festival, held in Tocumwal at the weekend.
The popular music and arts event attracted a sold-out crowd to the banks of the Murray River.
Attendees were entertained with live music, interactive art pieces, workshops and market stalls starting on Thursday evening and running through to Sunday evening.
‘‘For a festival it was just incredible,’’ Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce president Sergio Redegalli said.
‘‘Everyone who got a sausage from us was fantastic; they were polite, courteous and thankful.

‘‘Contrary to public belief we had a lot of people who were able to stand still and were in good spirits.’’
Festival goers were met by a full season of weather with the Thursday and Friday reaching over 30°C each day before dropping below 15°C on the final day.
Before the festival was open for business, locals in the region were invited to explore the artwork and festival area for a community run barbecue that continued to run throughout the weekend.
One of the highlights of the festival for locals when they visited on Wednesday night for the barbecue, among the interactive art, was the Finley High School mural.
After seminars with Strawberry Field artists, the students spent Monday and Tuesday last week painting the mural for all to enjoy throughout the festival.
As one of the organisers of the community barbecue, Mr Redegalli saidd it again proved a success.
‘‘We made the decision to keep our prices the same as last year and overall that might have hurt us considering this year was a totally cashless event,’’ he said.
‘‘That needs to be overshadowed by the amount of money that was put back into the community before the event even started, and will be shared among the rest of the volunteer organisations when all the numbers are finalised.
‘‘For us it’s nice to make some money to go back into the community but more so, it was nice to be able to offer a safe environment for everyone at the festival and to keep everyone fed.
‘‘It was incredible with the amount of bread loaves we went through on the weekend, that they were all sourced locally.’’