Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival Committee President Steve Mepham, left, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall and Secretary Julie Gittoes pictured during this year’s festival in January in front of the Big Lamb and the site of the new performance and dining area.
NOTE: These photos were taken in January this year, before the current COVID-19 social gathering restrictions.
Wednesday, 1 April 2020
WET and wild weather will not stop the iconic Guyra Lamb and Potato Festival in future years, with Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall today announcing a $130,000 State Government grant to help construct a permanent undercover performance and dining area, alongside the New England Highway.
Mr Marshall said rain, hail or shine, the new shed would make attending the festival a more enjoyable experience for everyone and remove the need for the festival’s organising committee to spend thousands of dollars each year hiring a giant marquee.
“It’s always a lottery as to what the weather is going to do in Guyra the day the barbecues all fire up for the annual Lamb and Potato Festival,” Mr Marshall said.
“In the past, up to two marquees have had to be hired, to provide shelter and undercover seating for patrons at a cost of $6,000 each and many volunteer man hours to put them up and take them down.
“Today’s announcement will eradicate the need for those marquees by allowing a 10 metre by 18 metre shed to be built on a concrete slab directly behind Guyra’s famous Big Lamb.
“The permanent building will be equipped with plastic pull down shutters which can be utilised during Guyra’s torrential summer storms or opened during a sweltering January afternoon.
“Each year the Lamb and Potato Festival is a quality showcase of what the Guyra area has to offer and hopefully this new building will support the committee to grow and develop the event into the future.”
Lamb and Potato Festival President Steve Mepham said the building would greatly reduce the workload for volunteers during the annual 13-day event.
“Like most committees in bush communities, we only have a relatively small volunteer base with many people taking time away from their farms and businesses to lend a hand,” Mr Mepham said.
“This new shed will be an absolute god-sent because it will mean we don’t have to spend half-a-day before the festival putting it up and another half-day pulling it down again.
“The festival runs on the smell of an oily rag each year and so the $6,000 we save on hiring a marquee will be able to be spent improving other facilities like our kitchen.
“I cannot thank Adam and the State Government enough for their support of the Lamb and Potato Festival and hopefully come 2021 our big new shed will be built and ready for use.”
This funding was made available through the State Government’s Community Building Partnership Program, which will see $300,000 spent on 12 different projects across the Northern Tablelands.
For up to date and official COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information and advice, click on the link – nsw.gov.au/covid-19