The DREAM Festival is expected to reach new heights this year with new events and even more people expected to attend.
The DREAM Festival will run from Thursday, October 18 until Sunday, October 28. The Lantern Parade will be held on Saturday, October 27.
Festival chair Anne Field said the theme of this year’s event was Wambull, the Wiradjuri word for the Macquarie River, to tie-in with the Wambuul River Dreaming. The activity, which has been created in partnership with the Office of Environment and Heritage, will include a day of water activities at Sandy Beach.
There’s a full program of events planned for the festival from Sushi in the Shoyoen Gardens, to Painting and Prosecco, and the TalbragART Competition and Exhibition.
The work created through TalbragART will be displayed in Talbragar Street businesses. Numerous prizes will be awarded.
The majority of the events at the DREAM Festival will be free, Ms Field said.
“It’s quite easy to make elite events where only the cashed up people can go to them but we felt that it was really important for the community that everybody could participate fully and we’re really grateful that we’re able to do that with the support of our sponsors and the people who donate to our events,” she said.
Last year the DREAM Festival had more than 18,000 people attend, of those 14,000 people were at the Music and Markets night, which includes the lantern parade.
Ms Field said no one had ever counted the exact number of volunteer hours that go into the event, but said the skilled team were dedicated to make it a success.
“We’ve invested so much into it and we’d hate to see it fail. I think the community expects it to be a pretty spectacular event so we’re quite happy to keep pushing it along,” she said.
Ms Field said funding had been received from Destination NSW to market the event outside the region. In 2017 a campaign was undertaken in Newcastle and Canberra and resulted in an uptake of attendance from those cities.