WUNTA’S organising committee has vowed to fight for the return of a showpiece Friday night carnival event on Liebig Street next year after disappointing crowd numbers at the weekend.
With strong community sentiment, organisers said they were prepared to give it their all and look at going back to the future and returning the Fiesta to its traditional Friday night home.
But they also said for the plan to be viable and a success, full community support was needed.
The popular Wunta on Liebig segment, with the street’s southern end turned into a mall for open-air dining and entertainment, was scrapped in 2008 after complaints about unruly behaviour by drunken patrons.
“The community has been screaming out for a return to the street for years,” vice-chairwoman Donna Gladman said yesterday.
“Wunta is a community festival and we want to give the community what they want but we also need them to show their support.
“We will give it our all to try and return to Liebig Street next year, but there are no guarantees, we aren’t promising anything.”
Ms Gladman said moving Friday night’s celebration back to the street was not a negative reflection on the existing set-up at the Civic Green, but more a reflection of what the community wanted.
“Wunta is a different event to what it used to be. We think the current set-up on the green is fantastic and has been very successful,” she said. “But there has been a sentiment in the community that it’s not as good as it used to be when it was in the street.
“There are a lot of hurdles to overcome in terms of licensing and security, but we are prepared to give it a go, as long as the community supports us.”
Ms Gladman said an action meeting would be held in the coming weeks to determine if there would be enough support to make the move back to the street viable.
She said higher costs associated with moving the fiesta back into the street would mean scrapping a national headline band.
“We are a small, volunteer-run, sponsor-supported event, so our resources are limited,” she said.
“If we were to go back to the street, the costs would be much higher in terms of security and licensing, which would mean we would have to scrap having a multi-national band.
“But we are prepared to do that and go with a wholly local theme if that’s what the community wants.”
The fiesta’s budget showed fixed income would be $46,613, expenses about $85,000. Income from the weekend would be about $35,800, based on last year’s figures.