Aquatic comeback?

TAREE Aquatic Power Boat Club hopes to revive the Taree Aquatic Festival as part of the club's Easter Classic next year.

A sub-committee comprising of Kathy Bushell, Jim McFarlane and Scott Godfrey has already been formed to gauge interest and seek sponsorship. Ms Bushell said major sponsors - including Stacks the Law Firm - have already indicated they'll become involved.

She added the committee is currently talking to other sporting clubs in a bid to provide a diversity of events both leading into Easter and during the festival. This includes the Taree Aquatic Powerboat Club along with Taree Motor Cycle Club and Forster Tri Club.

The club's Easter Classic is planned for April 19 and 20 next year. However, Ms Bushell said no decision has yet been made on how long the Aquatic Festival would run.

She added the committee has spoken with council's team leader of tourism and public relations Donna Hudson and received a positive response.

"We'll be applying for grants from Tourism NSW as a major tourism project,'' Ms Bushell said.

She moved to Taree from Sydney 18 years ago and admits she didn't see the Aquatic Festival at its height. However, she added the reaction she's receives when she mentions the festival shows just how fond the memories are of the event that was held in the last weekend in January.

"As soon as I say Aquatic Festival people smile,'' she said.

As was the case with the festival when it was at its zenith, Ms Bushell hopes to see rides and a sideshow alley in Queen Elizabeth Park.

Ms Bushell doesn't believe moving the festival from January to April will be a problem.

"We usually get fairly good weather in April,'' she pointed out.

"The fact that it isn't as hot in April would work in our favour.''

While a decision has yet to be made, Ms Bushell believes retaining the name Aquatic Festival would be advantageous.

She said that incorporating the festival into the Easter Classic powerboat program would work for both, explaining that there have been moves from the Australian Power Boat Authority (APBA) to take Easter away from the club.

"The APBA say the fact that Easter falls at a different time each year makes it difficult to put their program in place,'' she said.

However, the club has been given the green light to race at Easter in 2014.

"If the classic is an important part of the festival Taree will fight for it,'' Ms Bushell added.

Ms Bushell said the club will call a meeting of confirmed and potential stakeholders to discuss matters including the duration of the event and the name, although no date has yet been confirmed.

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