ORGANISERS have hailed this year’s Northfest Family Fun Festival in Horsham a success, with attendees already asking to be involved in the next event.
Committee member Hollie Winfield said up to 1200 people came to the free event at the North Foundry Gardens on Saturday.
“This is the second time the event has been held and we’ve nearly doubled our figures,” she said.
Miss Winfield said about 600 people attended the inaugural event in 2011.
“I think the amount of free things on offer was the main drawcard,” she said. “A lot of people came back a couple of times, which was really good.”
Visitors were treated to a range of activities including face painting and rides, plus a free barbecue, healthy food options and free non-alcoholic drinks.
More than 20 community groups supported the event.
Miss Winfield said the event helped make people aware of the groups and activities they could become involved in.
“Although we call it Northfest, we want to invite and involve all parts of our community,” she said.
She said the event also helped to decrease some of the stigma surrounding the Horsham north area.
Horsham Rural City Councillor Mark Radford said the area was typically considered disadvantaged.
But he said initiatives such as Northfest highlighted the area’s potential.
“All of the groups that were involved in Northfest are committed to making life better in north Horsham,” Cr Radford said.
He said there were two reasons why Northfest was such a success: it involved so many of the community’s organisations and groups, and it elicited such a strong community response.
Miss Winfield said Northfest cost just under $15,000 to run because the support from the community and Wimmera businesses was so strong.
She said the next event was planned for 2015.