WARRNAMBOOL and district residents enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the weekend’s Wunta Fiesta events.
The success of the weekend, with numbers believed to be on par with last year, rested on the shoulders of the event’s five committee members.
Chair Donna Gladman said she was happy with the patron numbers and said attendees had been well behaved.
“All the events have been really good,” she said.
“It’s been mostly on par with last year but we reckon Friday might have been slightly up.”
Mrs Gladman said it was a lot of work to organise the event, but her love of the Wunta Fiesta was a great motivator.
“I love Wunta and I love Warrnambool. I’ve been here my whole life and I remember growing up with Wunta and if we don’t do it there is no Wunta and I don’t want to see that happen. However, it is very demanding for five people to do this.
“It would be a lot easier with more people.
“We do want more people to come and volunteer to help us.”
Showers on Sunday necessitated an early finish at Lake Pertobe. However, Mrs Gladman was pleased with the weekend.
“Wunta is Warrnambool’s biggest community event,” she said. “It’s about celebrating Warrnambool.”
The Wunta Fiesta was first held in either 1984 or 1985.
It had humble beginnings, starting out as a seafood festival on the Civic Green.
Mrs Gladman said the not-for-profit event relied on donations from community members over the weekend, support from council and support from sponsors.
Warrnambool mayor Kylie Gaston said she was impressed by the efforts of the Wunta Fiesta committee.
“Wunta has got off to a wonderful start.
“I think they did something like 700 breakfasts on the green here on Friday, on Friday night there was beautiful balmy weather and it was just wonderful to see locals going out and celebrating.
“The idea of Wunta was when the tourists had gone we celebrate as a community and that has been happening.
“I believe the Jazz in the Gardens was phenomenal – beautiful weather once again.”
Councillor Gaston said it was a big job to organise the Wunta Fiesta. “It’s a lot of hard work – there’s only five people on the Wunta committee – so a few people doing a lot, which is fantastic to see,” she said.
“I hope they can keep the momentum and maybe even get some more committee members for next year.”
Cr Gaston said the Wunta Fiesta was a great festival for locals, organised by locals.