THE Cobden Spring Festival committee has rejected a claim that its decision to this year locate stalls and food vans away from the town’s main street will take trade away from local businesses.
Festival convener Janet Van Leerdam said the food vans and stalls would be located in Victoria Street, and near the Cobden lake, because Curdie Street was made available to traders for a sidewalk sale.
Mrs Van Leerdam said people would still congregate in Curdie Street for the street parade that this year would start at 11am.
She said food vans and stalls would be closer to some of the festival activities to be held at Cobden Primary School and the Cobden lake.
However, Cobden resident Karl Parker said he was concerned the focus of the festival was being moved away from the town centre which was in need of any extra income generated by the crowds at the event.
In a letter to The Standard’s editor, Mr Parker said: “the spring festival is a wonderful event that brings large crowds of people into town and we all get a chance to showcase ourselves, get an injection of cash which is desperately needed in the current dairy crisis”.
He said the decision to move the focus of the festival away from the main street was in conflict with other efforts by Progressing Cobden.
The Progressing Cobden sub-committee organises the festival to try to get locals to better support local businesses, he said.
Mrs Van Leerdam said the Cobden Business Network was encouraging local businesses to run a market day during the festival street parade, which will be held on October 19, to boost trade in the main street.
It was hoped that Curdie Street businesses would “make that street alive”, she said.
“It’s up to the shopkeepers to do that,’’ Mrs Van Leerdam said
“It is all there to do with what they want.”
Mrs Van Leerdam said it was more convenient for food vans and stalls to be located away from Curdie Street because they had more room and were closer to other festival activities.
This year’s festival will be held from October 18-20 and will feature street performers, live music, a duck race, a competition for the most unique onesie outfit, free segway rides, a trivia night, quilt exhibition, highland dancing competition as well as the annual Cobden orchid show.
On Sunday, the Cobden miniature railway, dairy park, historical society and South Western Restoration Group will be open at the Cobden village green in Grayland Street.