Rotary Club steps in to save festival parade

THE Gladstone Harbour Festival street parade is set to make a comeback, bigger and better than ever.

Dropping participation and smaller crowds in recent years had forced organisers to consider cancelling the traditional event.

But the Gladstone Midday Rotary Club has stepped in to give the event the boost it needs for a return to its glory days.

The festival committee has welcomed the club's offer to help. Gladstone Festivals and Events manager Judy Whicker said she was happy to have the club on board.

"The parade is such a huge event in itself and it was becoming too complex an exercise to run on our own,'' she said.

'The Rotary club has the people power to be able to generate more involvement from local business and we greatly appreciate their support.'

Midday Rotary community director Adele Hughes said the Rotary charter advocated community involvement and the members decided that co-ordinating the street parade was another way to help the local community.

'The parade will take the traditional route of days gone by,' Ms Hughes said.

"The parade, under the banner of Rotary, will commence at the Gladstone Showgrounds and head along Tank Street to Goondoon Street.

'The procession will then travel up Goondoon Street to the Yacht Club and across the bridge to the marina.

She said by following this same route, residents and visitors would have more opportunity to see the floats ? 'which we hope will be bigger, better and more colourful than ever'.

'The street parade will be on Sunday April 9, which is the Sunday prior to Easter and will be the official kick off to the Harbour Festival,' she said.

'There will be a family night of entertainment and a fantastic fireworks display.'

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