Bathurst Winter Festival 2017 Feedback

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Consultation has concluded

Staged in the beautiful, heritage CBD of Bathurst, the festival is a showcase of all that is vibrant, creative and unique in the region.

Over the duration of the festival, we watched our iconic buildings come alive through static and interactive illumination breathing life into the historic architecture.

Many of you amused yourself in the Winter Playground sampling the charm of the outdoor McDonald’s Bathurst Ice Rink, the giant Ferris wheel and magical two-story carousel.

A record crowd was seen delighting their senses at the two festival nights, “Ignite the Night” and “Brew and Bite”.

Staged in the beautiful, heritage CBD of Bathurst, the festival is a showcase of all that is vibrant, creative and unique in the region.

Over the duration of the festival, we watched our iconic buildings come alive through static and interactive illumination breathing life into the historic architecture.

Many of you amused yourself in the Winter Playground sampling the charm of the outdoor McDonald’s Bathurst Ice Rink, the giant Ferris wheel and magical two-story carousel.

A record crowd was seen delighting their senses at the two festival nights, “Ignite the Night” and “Brew and Bite”.

Guest Book

We hope that you enjoyed the Bathurst Winter Festival and in particular, the event nights, Ignite the Night and Brew and Bite.

In order to improve, keep some elements and add things to next year's Winter Festival we would like you to leave a comment stating what you loved, what could be improved or what you'd like to see in 2018. Make sure you tell us where you live or where you travelled from.


Bathurst Regional Council Events Team

Definitely needs more local food and wine stalls, better supplies of food and wine as well ( a number of vendors ran out).

Anonymous almost 4 years ago

We came over from Cowra.

There needs to be more food stalls that just a donut van on all nights not just the Saturday brew and bite. Even a BBQ between certain hours

Stacey Jackson almost 4 years ago

We love the winter festival but I thought last years brew and bite was much better, with the drinks tent and ice bar! Really gave it some wow factor. Not enough brew or bite this year. The the atmosphere wasn't as good. The big slide was missed too it was more affordable being a gold coin donation and the lines moved faster on it. The was a cool caravan selling vinyl records last year, would have been great to see him back.
We will continue to support this great event but bring back the tent and ice bar! And more lights in the park, really ignite the night!

Kate almost 4 years ago

Brew and Bite, was super over crowded and I believe would have been a lot better had it been over a few nights. We waited over an hour in line to get food, and by the time we got served only a third of the food was available. Having it over multiple nights, would allow people the opportunity to be spread out and might ensure that it isn't so busy.

As always, we loved the ice skating rink, however did not enjoy the silent disco. It wasn't well advertised and honestly it's a lot better just playing music aloud. During the day though, the ice does significantly melt and may be better suited to be under cover such as a marquee, as it does make it a lot more difficult and less enjoyable.

crosecreek almost 4 years ago

Excellent night out with my family! We had prebooked tickets to ice skating and all went smoothly. However maybe next time we could do prebooked time slots for rides as the lines were incredibly long all night and we were unable to take our kids on any.

Jamie O'Neill almost 4 years ago

The festival was fantastic especially the theme of Alice In Wonderland. We really enjoyed attending the event.

* An idea for the ice skating is to have a disco session where it is held mid week during from 5 to 9pm. Cost would be about $40 for the full session with latest music, light show and nibbles

*An idea for the ice skating is to have a kids only (or minimal Adults) during a weekday because some of the sessions were very full and difficult for the young skaters.

* There needs to be quick food as well as the gourmet food. With a young family the kids are only interested in chips, hot dogs and the like. The line up for the food wasn't too bad for the Ignite the night event, but we did eat very early.

* The tickets to the carousel and ferris wheel had different minimum ages for the kids to ride for free (Under 3 for ferris wheel and under 2 for the Carousel). When buying tickets it was for either ride. Either have the same condition for both rides, or sell individual tickets with the information available when buying tickets.

Blackwood almost 4 years ago

Absolutely fabulous BRC and staff. Well run, everyone polite and having fun. Maybe a bit more food available but not too much more so it's worthwhile for all the vendors. Very, very well done !!

Yoda almost 4 years ago

Loved the winter festival! Adored the ice skating, carousel, and ferris wheel. Loved circus surreal, and the whimsical performances, like the girl in the snow globe! The light show is also wonderful. The food stalls were great, and the performances were fun. The interactive story telling was brilliant, more of that for the kiddies (and kiddies at heart).

Not so good - really, it's about long lines at the eateries. We abandoned hope for a doughnut after waiting 20mins with a line that was barely moving, for example.

More food stalls would be great - it seems there is no end to participants appetites for food and mulled wine. Maybe some interactive food experiences like pay $5 and decorate your own cupcake with sprinkles and stars - or snowcones!!

How about a winter parade of local groups and bands?

A "running of the reindeer" (or penguins) - $2 entry, winner gets a voucher to a local eatery for $25

A "snow fight" castle - an area where individuals or teams can challenge each other to duels

Winter festival fashion contest - come dressed as a winter themed character - small prize for the winner (or even just a certificate, and photo in the paper!)

Polar bear wrestling - like the sumo suits, but as polar bears...

Let's get the schools more involved - a winter sculpture garden made with sculptures from the schools...

Scavenger hunt - great if we could have an app with that (maybe students at TAFE or CSU could design one)

Maia almost 4 years ago

I think that the. Eateries, food stalls should be scattered from the entrance close to St Michaels and St Johns and then scattered throughout The park itself to coincide with the other spectacles In the park , we have so much space in the park and Kings parade so why not utelise this beautiful city on a special occasion . If this was done we would then not have the long queues and then would be able to have a lot more vendors for the winter fest "also lots of complaints about only having the stalls on weekends , really do not see the necessity for sales of wines and alchohol in my way of thinking should be a family orientated environment after all there are plenty of Liscensed premises in close proximity it's school holidays so let's give the youth and children of Bathurst something to do and somewhere to go .

Gail Boustani almost 4 years ago

I love the Winter Festival and it is getting better every year. Around the food stalls areas more lighting is required as it's quite dark in places and a timetable for when things happens. I missed seeing the Professional Ice Skaters even though I was at the event from 5pm to 8pm and had downloaded the map from Facebook. Would be great to have a map or information on which buildings has a light display as I only saw this week that the Dinosaur Museum had a lighting show.

Kris2795 almost 4 years ago

Absolutely loved it this year!!!! so much better than last year. Libra to long for food so we sat on Tommys balcony and had dinner n drinks and the best view of the festival!! Its great for loval business to win also! Love my town!

Allison Everson almost 4 years ago

The prices of skating and rides are very reasonable. Well done.

Penny Pinners almost 4 years ago

I love this event. Our kids are so excited about it every year.
Loved all events held.

Improvements could be: expanding the enchanted forest and having more 'dessert' options, if it's being billed as the destination event in 'the forest'.

Looking into lessening queues at the food stalls on event nights. I realise it's a tricky one of supply and demand..

Holding a dedicated 'midwinter markets' during the day, with more variety of stalls to stroll through and purchase from. This could include street performers, buskers etc. think German Christmas markets etc. this would be amazing.

I live in 2795.

Penny Pinners almost 4 years ago

No enough lights and not many building lit up like website said lines were crap over an hour wait for food and all to close together rides were worse bought ticket and waited with my 5 yr old for almost 2 hours and still didn't get ago so waste of money

Megzy almost 4 years ago

The food was better on Ignite the Night instead of the Brew and Bite night. Get rid of the food trucks. Much more food options are needed to go with the growing crowds.
More breweries/distilleries were needed.
If the food is going to be down Church Lane, you need better lighting. You could hardly read the signs on each food truck. Also, I am surprised there is no rolled ankles with the gutter in darkness.
Desserts in Machattie Park was a great idea but more options were needed. What about French crepes, dutch pancakes, flavoured icecream, cupcakes, freak shakes.
Doughnut Time was absolutely fantastic!!
Overall, the Winter Festival is a fantastic idea. It gets people out and about at the worst time of year!!

Cosgrove almost 4 years ago

I have a 4 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old. The highlight for us was definitely the fairy garden. The children went around several times and explored all the hidden secrets.
We gave brew and bite a miss as it was on an extremely cold night, too cold for little children. Maybe next year it could start one hour earlier or run over lunch?
My main disappointment was the cost of the rides. Having 3 children under 4, we are on a very strict budget as we are living off one income. For our family to have one ferris ride and one go on the merry-go-round cost us $50. As a result, we could not afford ice-skating. The children would have also liked to have gone back another day but this was financially not an option. I was disappointed that the prices knocked many families out of the fun.

Ekhunter almost 4 years ago

I agree with comments regarding more food and drink outlets, but if anything Bathurst is a victim of its own success. A great event still being tweaked and the numbers keep rising. With these sorts of numbers further food outlets of all types should be chasing council to get a gig.

Some of the most enjoyable night street events in Bathurst were the race weekend street parties. They had a major performer (Choirboys, Neil Diamond tribute artist) on a raised stage at the northern end of the street past the courthouse. The street falls away and a good view was had by all. It is a genuine entertainment option for several thousand people for several hours with a couple of performers maybe targeting the younger kids early then more adult audience later.

Headly almost 4 years ago

We attended the brew and bite next year there needs to be more of the food trucks due to the amount of people attending we waited in line for an hour or more for food, but on a good note the ice skating made it all worth the trip as the kids absolutely loved that, it was magical,the enchanted forest could also do with more sweets vendors it was our first festival and we loved it.

Tash almost 4 years ago

I thought the Festival was great - the extension across to Macchattie Park was fabulous, as was Cirkus Surreal. I would love to see a daytime food event as well - envisaging picnicking in the park on some delicious food on a sunny Winter's day. Oh and loved the carousel, and the affordability of that plus Ferris wheel and ice skating.

Simonet almost 4 years ago

Run with the fairy and elf theme in the enchanted forest. More fairies in the fairy garden or a little Asher light show of darting fairies in there would be magic! Daytime activities with roving fairies (performers/dressed up volunteers), a fairy dressup promotion, make a wand or elf hat workshops (charge a small fee), face painting, finger nail painting...
It would be wonderful to see more food vendors in the enchanted forest and that Brew and Bite looks a lot more like Orange food festival with individual vendors in their own booths slightly or spread out, perhaps in a horseshoe formation to ensure similar foot traffic.

Congratulations, so pleased to have this in Bathurst.

Shellie Burgess almost 4 years ago