Festival forging ahead

The popular Federation Festival will return this weekend with an array of floats and entertainment.

Organisers of the Federation Festival are moving ahead with plans this weekend despite uncertainty surrounding the region’s COVID-19 outbreak.

Federation Festival director Gary Poidevin OAM said event is moving “full steam ahead” with COVID-safe practices implemented to ensure it is a safe and enjoyable event for families and visitors to the region.

“This year’s theme is ‘Freedom 2.0’. After the tough few years our community has had we are encouraging people to come out and help us celebrate the history of our town and what we have overcome,” Mr Poidevin said.

Traditionally held over the long weekend in January each year, the Federation Festival was first held in 1980 and celebrates Corowa’s place in history as the ‘birthplace of Federation’.

A jam-packed schedule of events and entertainment is set and ready to go for the 42nd festival.

To kick start festival, the Rotary Club of Corowa is hosting the Federation Dinner and Tim Fischer Oration on Friday, January 21st at the Corowa Civic Bowls Club.

Now in its sixth year, the Oration will feature guest speaker Rosalie Ham. Born and raised in Jerilderie, Ms Ham is the acclaimed author of “The Dressmaker”, which was made into a multi-award-winning film in 2015 starring Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Hugo Weaving and Liam Hemsworth.

Gary Poidevin said Ms Ham is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

“We are really pleased to be hosting the wonderful Rosalie Ham as our guest speaker,” he said.

“The Dressmaker novel and film have become a household name. Tickets are still available so we would love to see people come along and be part of the wonderful evening.”

Guests will also enjoy a three-course dinner whilst honouring former Deputy Prime Minister and long-serving local politician, Tim Fischer AC.

On Sunday the much-loved Federation Festival Parade will commence at 10am coordinated by the Corowa Search and Rescue Squad with local businesses, sporting clubs, schools and community groups all joining in on the fun.

This year’s parade will have plenty of colour and musical extravaganza thanks to Essential Energy sponsoring the major prizes for the best floats on show including $1000 for the winning float.

Mr Poidevin urged local businesses and organisations to support the festival celebrating local history.

“The parade will lead down Sanger Street to Bangarang Park where we will have our Sunday Rotary market,” Mr Poidevin said.

“Social distancing, hand sanitising and other practices we have grown accustomed to is advised for people attending the parade and market.

“With so many events postponed and cancelled over the last two years, the Corowa Rotary Club are very pleased and keen to go ahead with the festival.

“It’s going to be a great weekend and we look forward to seeing everyone there!”

A limited number of tickets are still available for the Tim Fischer Oration which can be purchased from trybooking.com/events/landing/845411. For booking assistance or enquiries phone 0499 878 529.

The popular B&S Ball scheduled for the weekend has been postponed to Saturday, March 5.