Move to allay water fears
ORGANISERS of the Snowflakes in Stanthorpe festival have moved to assuage community fears about excessive water use during the three day event.
With anywhere up to 15,000 people expected to attend from July 5-7, concerns have been raised about the quantity of the precious resource visitors could drain during their stays.
One of the organisers, Robyn Henderson, said if they were to cancel next month's event, it'd mean curtains for any future festivals as well.
"If people are saying just cancel it, then they're not understanding the enormous effort it takes to produce an event like this,” Mrs Henderson said.
"There's major cost outlays that have already been paid. Who pays when we cancel the event? It comes back to the committee who are all volunteers.
"We are not funded in any other way than by using funds from a previous event that we've been able to save.”
Queried as to whether there'd be another Snowflakes if this one were to be canned, Mrs Henderson was blunt.
"There wouldn't be.”
Water and ice that will be utilised for the snow field and ice rink has been sourced from outside the Granite Belt.
"Our suppliers will be giving us their personal water or they'll be trucking ice in as well. The water for the snow field and ice rink will not be coming from the town water supply.”
The organisers have spent significant time liaising with Southern Downs Regional Council over the water expected to be used by tourists.
"The council has had conversations with us about the critical water requirements for festivals. So we've been in consultation with them about the need for their to be enough water over that weekend for our town to continue basically.
"They think about these things and take it all into account. They have to plan.”
She says signage around town and collaboration with tourism operators will be key.
"The number one most important thing is remembering how integral a festival like this is for Stanthorpe.
"Economically, culturally. Not only does it bring joy to the people here and a sense of pride, but also financial benefits to all the businesses.”
There was an estimated 12-14,000 people at the last event. Mrs Henderson says online sales have been good so far and they're hopeful of closer to 15,000.
"This little bit of snow has helped. Our jobs have been made easier because the snow has done a lot of the media promotion for us,” she said.