Lifeline for festival carnival

Autumn Festival 2018

Cambridge Autumn Festival’s iconic Main Street Carnival has secured funds so it can go ahead next month.

Organisers of the 10 day long festival feared they would have to cancel the carnival when they failed to attract a grant from the Waipā District Council administered Creative Communities scheme.

But Te Awa Lifecare Ltd, a long-time supporter of the festival, has stumped up with the cash so the Sunday carnival can go ahead on  March 26 in Cambridge’s central business district.

Thousands are expected to attend as the national secondary school rowing championships – also known as the Maadi Regatta – will be held at Lake Karāpiro from March 27.

Competitors will take part in a street parade and then be welcomed to the district at Victoria Square.

Alana MacKay

Festival chair Alana MacKay would not disclose how much Te Awa Lifecare contributed to what she described as “the biggest public day of the festival.”

The festival, which started in 2009, had regularly attracted funding from the creative scheme and so it was “a kick in the guts” when no money was forthcoming last year.

“Once we had that news, it was a tough time for all of us,” said MacKay who dealt with the disappointment at the same time she and husband Phil welcomed their first child, a daughter Mia Christina McCathie MacKay.

See: Mama Mia …

“In the past Te Awa have helped up out by letting us use some of their facilities so now they’ve added a cash component to it and it’s such a big help.”

The festival programme will be released in The News later this month and is expected to reveal the arrival of international artists – from the UK and Canada – jazz and blues musicians, painters, stilt walkers and the ever popular face painting.

There is also a new performance area near the Duke St roundabout.

The festival will run from March 24 to April 2.

Scenes from previous Autumn Festivals and Maadi Cup parades.

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