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Changes to Port Fairy’s Moyneyana Festival | The Standard

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Uncertainty surrounds Port Fairy’s Moyneyana Festival, with a reduction in its time frame and doubts about the staging of its iconic parade. The ever-changing landscape created by the COVID-19 crisis has led the Moyneyana Festival committee to shorten the 2020-21 event to two weeks. The festival will begin on Christmas Eve and run for a fortnight, scaling back from its regular finish date of Australia Day. Confirmation is yet to be given that the festival’s signature event, the New Year’s Eve parade, will go ahead. Moyneyana Festival chairman Neil Hedger said a cautious approach was being taken to the planning of the festival. “The New Year’s Eve parade is on the back-burner at the moment,” Mr Hedger said. “We will continue to monitor the social distancing restrictions but if they are like they were now, it would be very hard to have thousands of people in the streets. “Nobody is sure of where it will all be by December.” The 2020-21 event will be the 73rd Moyneyana Festival. The festival, which is ran by community volunteers, was originally set up as a fundraiser for the Port Fairy Hospital. In that time, the New Year’s Eve parade has not gone ahead just once, in the late 1960s when bad weather intervened. The parade was held the following night. Mr Hedger said another regular New Year’s Eve highlight, a fireworks display, would go ahead. He said a feature band to play on Fiddler’s Green had also been booked, meaning his committee would be prepared for the best case scenario. In another major change, the festival’s 2020-21 program will not be printed, instead being available just online. Mr Hedger said this was a financial decision. “Because our program is made up of free entertainment, our income is from sponsorships and council grants,” Mr Hedger said. “If sponsors want to come on board we will happily take them but businesses in town are doing it tough so we don’t want to be hitting them up. “We are hopeful of again receiving a grant from the Moyne Shire.” In past years the Moyneyana Festival has received an annual grant of $10,000 through Moyne Shire Council’s festival and events funding round. Listen to the latest episode of our weekly podcast The Booletin and Beyond:

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