The sun shone down on hundreds of people enjoying the 2017 Brown Hill Community Festival. Image: Nigel Stevens Photo: Nigel Stevens

2017 Festival Report

Lenny said it was "the best day of my life!" With 800 to 1000 people attending, Brown Hill's second community festival was another resounding success.

The best day of my life!

On the way home from the 2017 Brown Hill Community Festival, Brown Hill Kindergarten student, Lenny, said to his mum that he had enjoyed "the best day of my life!" What an accolade!

The second community festival, held on Friday 27 October, certainly was a wonderful evening. We saw an increase in numbers compared to the inaugural event in 2016, with the crowd being estimated at 800 to 1000 people. The 'Sausage Index' increased from 600 in 2016 to 700 in 2017, which is a strong indicator of a bigger crowd! Altogether, community activities made a profit of $1474.90 which will be invested across groups in Brown Hill. Feedback included: "What a great community festival run by amazing volunteers," (Jane) and "Awesome job! Such a great vibe at the festival." (Bridget).

Thanks so much to the Brown Hill Community Festival Committee who coordinated this fantastic Brown Hill Progress Association event. Thanks also to Progress Association Committee members who pitched in on the day to get the site ready, trouble-shoot when needed and ensure the site was left spic-and-span before bedtime. It was a great addition this year to have festival volunteers identifiable in the new 'Brown Hill Community Volunteer' vests.

The Festival was funded by a generous donation of $1793 from the City of Ballarat through the Brown Hill Partnership. This funding was invested in promotion of the festival with flyers which were distributed across Brown Hill by our newsletter delivery volunteer team, hire of the large and sturdy stage, two jumping castles, Leanne, our talented face painter, and our event photographer, Nigel Stevens. Acoustics on the night were provided by the 'Brown Hill Community PA system', which was also part-funded by the City of Ballarat through the Community Impact Grants program. We would like to thank the Brown Hill Community Hall committee for allowing us access to the Hall facilities free of charge.

Entertainment on the festival stage was opened by the Woodman's Hill Stage Band, which was followed by a welcome from Mayor Cr Samantha McIntosh and an acknowledgement of country from Ms Alice Barnes on behalf of the Brown Hill Partnership. We also had heart-warming performances from the Brown Hill Kindergarten children and Caledonian Primary School students. New to the stage this year were the Ballarat Highland Dancers, who really impressed the crowds with their energetic moves. To finish off the evening's entertainment, the Federation University Pipe Band marched into the site and played some fantastic music. Well done and thank you to all of our performers. What a show!

"I liked everything and singing with my friends from kinder." Ivy (5)

Yet again, our local Brown Hill community groups did a super job of providing food on the evening. The Brown Hill Uniting Church sold mountains of pancakes, making $150 profit, and the Brown Hill Lions Club sold 700 sausages, making $450 profit. Both of these groups have generously donated these profits to start the 2018 Community Festival fund, which has a target of $2200.

Brock and Nickales from the Woodman's Hill campus of Ballarat Secondary College, did a top job managing the excited hoards of children at the jumping castles, which made a profit of $278.50 for the school. The Caledonian Primary School staff managed the long face-painting queue, making a profit of $90 for the school. Brown Hill Kindergarten made a profit of $271.40 selling soft drinks and juice, and the Energy Breakthrough Team from Caledonian Primary School made $135 by selling fruit cups. Ballarat Wholefoods Collective made $50 in their raffle.

"It was great. My favourite part was having my face painted. Singing for all the people was fun but a little bit scary." Stephi (5)

The Ballarat CFA Fire Truck was hugely popular, with many local children climbing through it. Alongside the Brown Hill FireAware Network display with Penny Playtpus, we had a new display from the Forest, Fire and Regions team at Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, who talked with community members about fuel management treatments. We welcomed back displays by Scott Antonio and his team from South East Australian Taekwondo and a short finned eel mother and baby puppets provided by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority and Yarrowee Leigh Catchment Group. Here is some information about the short finned eel (PDF, 390KB).

Also new to the festival this year were Sue and Margaret from the Ballarat Eureka Guides, who led a team providing several kids' activities, and Julie and Jenny from Ballarat Botanikids who had some great nature craft activities and treasures for children to take home. We also had a display from the NDIS, Ballarat Community Health and the City of Ballarat's Strategic Planning team who answered questions about the upcoming Brown Hill Local Area Plan project and the Brown Hill Walking Maps project.

We would like to thank Central Highlands Water for providing their 'Hydration Station' and a bucket of water-saving goodies worth $100 for the raffle. Both of our food vans also made generous donations to the raffle, with two $25 vouchers from Asif Paul and the Masala Valley Indian team and vouchers for a hot drink from Nigel and Julie at Bean Me Up Espresso. Other raffle donations included a pink rock-and-roll skirt from Top Katz Rockers (proudly won by one of the Brown Hill Progress Association gentlemen), two $25 meal vouchers from Michelle and Craig at the Brown Hill Hotel and several vouchers from Glenn and Kerryn at Bakery Hill Bakers Delight.

"It was amazing! My favourite part was the ticket raffle. Even though I didn't win, it was still exciting. I was glad I didn't win the pink tutu. I got a snake painted on my arm for the second year in a row." Alexander (7)

Thanks to the City of Ballarat's Parks and Garden's team for making sure that the Brown Hill Recreation Reserve was looking great for the festival.

Entries for the 'My Brown Hill' Image competition were impressive, with the younger children doing drawings and the older children and adults entering photos. We even had a beautiful painting entered this year.

The 2018 Brown Hill Community Festival will again be run as part of the City of Ballarat's Children's Week Event, in the last week of October. Please mark Friday 26 October 2018, 5.00 - 7.30 pm in your diaries and contact us via email (festival@brownhill.vic.au) with your ideas.

"I liked every part of the festival. It was fun." Stella (5)

Suppliers:

Mark Field, Clunes Jumping Castles: 0435 443 608
Leanne Westblade, Fab2see Faces Face Painting, Ballarat: 0417 142 261
Nigel Stevens, Nigel Stevens Photography, Ballarat: 0408 519 868
Sound and Light Concepts, Ballarat: 5336 1255
Neil and Tim McLeod, Ballarat Mailworks: 5339 9990
Asif Paul, Masala Valley Indian: 5334 4833
Nigel and Julie, Bean Me Up Mobile Espresso: 0439 740 028

Brown Hill Community Festival Committee

Sarah Greenwood-Smith, Christine Sullivan (Brown Hill Kindergarten), Brendan Stevens (Brown Hill Progress Association), Helen Romerill (Caledonian Primary School) and Shannon Turnbull (Woodman's Hill).



Uniting Church Pancakes
The Brown Hill Uniting Church made a profit of $150 with their delicious pancakes. Image: Nigel Stevens