New organisers plot course for next year's Dairy Festival
PLANNING is under way for next year's biannual Monto Dairy Festival, the first following the disbanding of the festival board after last year's event.
Next year's festival will be run under the auspice of Monto Magic Tourism Action Group, which the board transferred its assets over to after an executive could not be formed.
Cafe Delicious owner Jenny Forsyth, who has taken responsibility for the planning, wrote in a letter distributed to the Monto community that it was a "sad day” when the board could not be formed "to continue with this very important tradition in our community”.
She said Monto Magic received the board's assets "with the hope of it being a body that could continue on with the event”.
Speaking with the Times, Ms Forsyth said she has a passion for the festival and held many positions throughout the 1980s and 90s.
"It's a community reunion, so many people come back to catch up on town life,” Ms Forsyth said.
"For country towns like Monto, festivals are a chance to see things we wouldn't see otherwise.”
She pointed to the "amazing” example of country music up-and-comers The Wolfe Brothers playing at last year's event.
Ms Forsyth said the way she believes it should be run next year is, rather than having a small board responsible for absolutely everything, community groups and individuals would each take responsibility for an aspect of the festival, such as Monto Police hosting a blue light disco or the Monto Car Club hosting a 'show and shine'.
"It has to change with the times,” she said.
"There's less dairy in Monto but other industries have filled the gap, the local pork industry is getting larger and larger.
"But I don't think the community is ever going to let the dairy side go from it.”
Ms Forsyth said she has sensed a groundswell of local support for the festival's return.
She is hosting an afternoon discussion at the Lister St Parkland on Saturday at 3pm to help flush out ideas.
BYO drinks, nibbles supplied.
Ph Jenny on 0407 661 198.