No committee, no festival

CELEBRATING CULTURE: Falguni Solanki and son Ansh, were among hundreds of participants in the 2015 Dubbo Multicultural Festival street parade. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

CELEBRATING CULTURE: Falguni Solanki and son Ansh, were among hundreds of participants in the 2015 Dubbo Multicultural Festival street parade. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

The Multicultural Festival will not be held in 2016, after the committee was disbanded.

When Dubbo and Wellington councils were amalgamated in May, the former Dubbo City Council committees were dissolved.

After evaluation the committee was deemed necessary and steps were put in place for it to be reformed.

However, Dubbo Regional Council director community services John Watts said there was no time for the festival to be organised in 2016.

“The timing was not great but it’s the way it fell. No one saw this happening,” Mr Watts said.

Around 650 people attend the festival every year which generally involves a street parade, activities in the council car park and a dinner.

Mr Watts said the festival would most likely have been around this time of year, but instead there would be nothing until the 2017 Multicultural Festival.

“When I explained it to the spokesperson, the person who was on the committee, she said ‘let’s wait until next year’,” Mr Watts said.

He said he didn’t want to put something on this year that would be sub-par and ruin the enjoyment of the Multicultural Festival.

Preparations for the festival was well underway in March when the committee invited members of the public to attend their meeting, bring their ideas and help plan the event.

Mr Watts was looking for ways to reinvigorate the festival, while getting more of the community involved.

The Solanki family have been regular participants in the event across the years. Last year children Ansh and Anushka dressed as an Indian prince and princess.

At the time, mother Falguni said the festival was educational, as well as fun.

"It's good because the kids get to look at a lot of different cultures in one place. It's good general knowledge," Mrs Solanki said.

"We've got a lot of multicultural people here in Dubbo and it's good to let people see them."

Since 2008, council has provided funding to the festival. This year $15,000 had been set aside.

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