Ballina Food and Wine Festival
Ballina Food and Wine Festival

Help save Ballina’s popular food and wine festival

THE Ballina Food and Wine Festival is at risk of folding if volunteers can't be found to run the popular event.

The festival has been held at the Ballina Jockey Club for the past 10 years and is run by the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond.

Chair of the organising committee, Col Lee, said the current core group of organisers were extremely pleased to have built the festival to point where it is well established on the local social circuit.

"The festival attracts more than 4000 people to the Ballina Jockey Club each year," he said.

"Änd it is well supported by local and regional businesses keen to showcase their wares, whether that be fine food, cottage industries or wines, gins and other beverages.

"The Ballina Food and Wine Festival's popularity has seen it become one of the longest-running festivals in Ballina Shire."

As a project of the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond, the festival also raises money for the community projects, and the event has so far put $400,000 back into Ballina Shire not-for-profit organisations.

Mr Lee said he and wife Julie, along with Wayne Crawford and Jodie Shelley, have worked hard over the past 10 years to run the festival.

Other Rotarians also have been on the organising committee over the years.

Mr Lee said some Rotarians on the committee have been there since the inception of the festival and put in many volunteer hours to make it a success.

But Mr Lee said that had taken a lot of time and energy, which has led for the call for others to take an active role in seeing the festival continue into the future.

"In order to continue and move forward, we need new people with new ideas and new skills, preferably with event management experience," he said.

Ballina has a long history of festivals folding, from the Kingsforth Smith Festival in the 1980s through to the more recent Ballina Prawn Festival.

For those interested in joining the organising committee for the food and wine festival, phone Col Lee on 0417 862602 or Jodie Shelley on 0427 287627.



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