Cherry-ripe to go

Tari JeffersManjimup-Bridgetown Times
Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival chairwoman and festival coordinator Pam Bodsworth and treasurer Franzine Karamfiles celebrate the upcoming event.
Camera IconManjimup Cherry Harmony Festival chairwoman and festival coordinator Pam Bodsworth and treasurer Franzine Karamfiles celebrate the upcoming event. Credit: Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

The community is being called on to help make the 2020 Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival COVID-19 safe for all when the event returns on December 12 and brings an economic boost to the region.

Festival co-ordinator Pam Bodsworth said great effort had been put into making the event COVID-19 safe and compliant and the organisers were urging attendees to take the proper precautions.

“We’re encouraging social distancing and asking people to register for tracing purposes online,” she said.

“Even if you’re a local, we need you to please register online if you’re planning on coming.

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“We will have QR codes available at the festival so people can register on the day, but if you do it beforehand, that’s even better.”

Last year’s festival pumped $700,000 into the Manjimup community and Mrs Bodsworth said that was not including the money brought into the accommodation, food and retail sectors.

Highlights of this year’s festival will include 130 stallholders, log chops, the street party, the Police Pipe Band, the grand parade and a brand new cornhole competition, in which people throw small bags of corn through a hole from a distance.

“We have the photography and art exhibitions and the special dinner at Two Little Blackbirds,” Mrs Bodsworth said. “Instead of the cherry pip-spitting competition, we will this year have pip-flicking, we have a second stage set up to spread people out and we have a new-look long table food event.”

Mrs Bodsworth said the Manjimup Cherry Harmony Festival would not be possible without the volunteers and the festival committee.

“The shire have been incredibly supportive, the police are so helpful and we also couldn’t do this event without the cherry growers — they are indispensable,” she said.

“This is a community event by the community and for the community.

“Next year we celebrate our 20th year and with everyone doing the right thing this year, we can make next year a success too.”

Manjimup Chamber of Commerce president Paul Griffiths said the festival was one of the best events of the year.

“It’s great being able to get the event on this year,” he said.

“You’ll never get anyone who says the festival is a bad idea.

“It’s truly impressive of the committee being able to put together an event in the setting of COVID.”

Mr Griffiths said the festival committee had the full backing and support of the chamber.

Manjimup Central Caravan Park and Deli manager Emma Marocchi the park was already fully booked out for the festival weekend.

“Normally we book out a couple of weeks before the festival, so the fact we’re booked out now shows how excited people are for the event,” she said. “It’s not just the festival weekend, for almost every weekend we’re booked out.

“It’s wonderful to have that interest in people coming to the region.”

Visit cherryfestival.com.au for more information.

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