Winter sun rising in new festival planned for Merimbula

On the Winter Sun Festival organising committee are Caspar Tresidder, James Smith, Jacqui Smith, Amanda Heather, Lynn McColl and Jesse Tankard
On the Winter Sun Festival organising committee are Caspar Tresidder, James Smith, Jacqui Smith, Amanda Heather, Lynn McColl and Jesse Tankard

The June long weekend has long been a staple of tourism to Merimbula and the region with the annual Jazz Festival.

However, due to the festival cancelling for 2021 amid COVID-19 restrictions and travel uncertainties, a group of enterprising locals have taken it upon themselves to organise an event "to fill the gap" this year.

The Winter Sun Festival will see a host of family-fun events and activities across the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 11-13.

The Picture Show Man Cinema will be screening a series of family movies across the weekend with organisers looking into the possibility of combining that with food and beverages from local producers.

Food Truck Fridays will make a return, which will no doubt excite the many patrons who enjoyed the evening offerings when they did the Bega Valley rounds pre-COVID.

On Saturday the main street will be closed off for music, a street stage, market stalls and other entertainment. Club Sapphire will be hosting barefoot bowls and Merimbula RSL several jazz bands still planning to attend.

There are also plans for an early morning swim at Mitchies Jetty for those among you keen to take a wintry dip. Wild Rye's coffee and doughnuts as well as Merimbula Marine Rescue sausage sizzle will warm you up afterwards though.

"So far everyone we've approached has been really positive and is getting on board," organising committee member Lynn McColl of JAM Event Management said.

"This is all about reactivating the town. Everyone has a lovely time and the businesses benefit as well."

Fellow committee member James Smith from Sails Real Estate said the festival's program of events was "coming together well".

"There are so many wonderful ideas that are all about bringing everyone together."

Organisers said Kevin Walsh from the Jazz Festival Committee had been particularly generous with his time and advice to assist in the planning of the town-wide event and dealing with council on road closure requests.

Stay tuned for more details as the festival weekend approaches.