The rain failed to dampen last week’s Yarrawonga Mulwala Kids Festival with organiser Jarrod Ryan hailing it a complete success saying participation numbers of more than 7000 were recorded.
The augural festival, organised by Yarrawonga Mulwala Tourism and Business (YMTB), catered to kids of all ages with sporting and craft activities, movies, live shows, Lego and cake decorating all on offer.
The fun started last Saturday with youngsters taking advantage of activities such as damper making at Byramine Homestead and the animal nursery at Rich Glen Olive Estate.
Mr Ryan, a board member of YMTB, said the idea of the festival was to generate activity and excitement for locals and visitors during what was a quieter time of year in terms of trade.
“Ticket sales through YMTB showed 28 percent were for non-Victorians and 19 percent were not local,” Mr Ryan said.
“For example the netball event attracted a lot of people from Melbourne.
“It seems that many locals had extended family members and friends travel and stay purely to participate in the Kids Festival activities.
“This event is wholly owned by the community and businesses of Yarrawonga Mulwala.
“We are extremely pleased with how it all turned out in our first year and with more businesses becoming members of YMTB the more events our organisation can develop.
“From a community and social point of view via feedback we have received from parents, grandparents and visitors, the whole event was a huge success.
“The Kids Festival not only provided fun things for the kids to do but it also provided a boost to local business by attracting visitors to town and getting families out and about in what is traditionally a quieter trading period.”
The Peppa Pig Show at ClubMulwala was an unfortunate late cancellation however The Kazoos stepped in and provided a rollicking afternoon of entertainment.
The Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort hosted Cars 3 themed days with special screenings of the just released movie, along with fun activities and a jumping castle.
There was an animal nursery and activity tent at Rich Glen Olive Estate, Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Belle’s Café, damper making and a trivia hunt at Byramine Homestead and cupcake and cookie decorating at Bundalong Café.
A visit from Melbourne Vixens netballers, Skillzone soccer clinics, free golf for the kids at YMGCR and Black Bull, AFL skills at JC Lowe Oval and Bluearth activities for health and well-being recorded good numbers.
According to Mr Ryan the bad weather the local area experienced last week actually worked well for some of the events.
“The festival gave families options of things to do and different entertainment for the children instead of being cooped up at home,” he said.
“A few of the outdoor events were affected by the inclement weather but that was expected and we all worked around it.
“Comments given to YMTB were positive especially with the number of events which were very affordable or even free which meant children could attend an activity each day instead of doing just one thing during the holidays, which is the norm for many families.
“From a business point of view the festival was absolutely a success with the holiday home rental market recording an increase in bookings and retail outlets in general seeming to have an increase in sales.
“Business along the main streets of Yarrawonga and Mulwala got involved by dressing up their windows which was good to see.
“Organisation is now underway for the 2018 Kids Festival and, with the community’s help, we are planning on it being bigger and better than this year’s.”