A spark of excitement was brought to Tatura on Sunday, as more than 1000 people flooded to a festival intent on bringing the town alive.
Following the phase-out of the Taste of Tatura food and wine festival three years ago, Tatura Lions Club members agreed the event needed to be revived and have now done so in the form of TatFest.
Designed to showcase the region’s produce and character, Tatura Lions Club member Sharon Hopkins said TatFest not only catered for food and wine enthusiasts, but also families and children.
‘‘As great as it was, the previous food and wine festival didn’t cater to absolutely everyone, whereas now we have everything from trains, sumo wrestling, jumping castles and abseiling, to buskers, local market stalls with wine, cheese and ciders, and of course all of the best produce from across the Goulburn Valley,’’ Mrs Hopkins said.
‘‘We’ve made it a really inclusive, family fun day and we aim to make it bigger and better as the years go on, and today has been really encouraging.’’
Gaining inspiration from a South Australian town that transformed a failing festival into a successful four-day festival, Mrs Hopkins hoped Tatura could follow suit.
Mrs Hopkins said the Goulburn Valley had a lot to offer in terms of its produce and culture and, while individual towns had embraced that and grown the region’s reputation during the years, more needed to be done to improve tourism.
She said TatFest had been a significant event for Tatura, and hoped it would become something that could put the town on the map.
‘‘I think Shepparton has really advertised and grown its town over the years, but I think what we need to do as a region is come together to showcase everything we’re about,’’ Mrs Hopkins said.
‘‘If we tie all of the great things about ourselves together, we can attract people for multiple days and showcase everything we have like the beautiful wines, the lovely ciders, the fruit, the cheese and bring people up here from Melbourne.
‘‘Everybody will be a winner then.’’
- Rhiannon Tuffield