AFTER more than 10 years as a major highlight of Echuca-Moama’s festive calendar, the wildly popular Epicentre Christmas Spectacular has decided to call it quits.
While crowd numbers have continued to grow year after year, with 4000 people flocking to Moama Recreation Reserve last year, Epicentre pastor Rob Wiltshire said dwindling committee numbers had led to the difficult decision to call it a day.
‘‘As with any large scale community event, it takes a team of dedicated people to make things happen,’’ he said.
‘‘Over the years, we have seen this small, dedicated team go through many changes including people moving away, starting families and other demands of life taking priority.
‘‘For the past 10 years, we have continued to grow and expand the event despite these changes.
‘‘Our team and church has given their all to making this event grow and become a success.’’
Mr Wiltshire said the decision to axe the event was one of the most difficult the church had ever made.
‘‘It was not done in haste or taken lightly by any means,’’ he said.
‘‘This decision was deliberated over for a long time,’’ he said.
While Mr Wiltshire said the event may return to Echuca-Moama in ‘‘some way, shape or form’’ down the track, at this stage he didn’t believe it would ever be the 4000-plus event it once was.
‘‘The Christmas Spectacular has meant so much to so many people in so many different ways,’’ he said.
‘‘We have seen families make this event a part of their Christmas tradition.
‘‘We have seen local artists have a platform to showcase their talents.
‘‘And we have had the honour of being sponsored by and showcasing local businesses.
‘‘The reach and impact has been far beyond what we will ever know, and for it, we are so grateful to have had the extreme privilege to share the story of Jesus with thousands of people across the years.
‘‘We hope and pray that people left with a sense of belonging and felt loved and valued. We know we were.’’