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Friday 10 February 2012

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$80,000 for eclipse events

Two events celebrating the solar eclipse to occur later this year have been successful in gaining funding from Cairns Regional Council.

Council grants totalling over $150,000 were awarded to local event in three categories: Local Community Festival and Events; Developmental Events; and Major Events.

In the Major Events category, the Port Douglas Eclipse Festival and Port Douglas Solar Eclipse Adventure Marathon will each receive $40,000.

"We appreciate the support that CRC is showing by investing into the Solar Eclipse Marathon." managing director of Port Douglas Event Management (PDEM) said.

"This money will be used to ensure that those who enter this unique race this year will return for years to come, cementing the future of the region's next major sports tourism annual event in the Great Barrier Reef Marathon Festival."

The Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce has received the funding for the Port Douglas Eclipse Festival and will use the money to employ a resource to coordinate the logistics of the eclipse period.

"Now we've got the funds it will be used to coordinate the many issues we've got for this time," president of the Chamber of Commerce Ken Dobbs said.

"20,000 people (expected during the eclipse) is twice the number we'd get in the peak season. How are we going to get the resources into the place and how are we going to get the staff (to service them)?  (It's about) how we feed and entertain them essentially."

Mr Dobbs said a meeting for the region's business people will be held at the Port Douglas Community Hall in Mowbray Street next Monday at 5pm as a forum to exchange ideas.

Mayor Val Schier said it was important the region capitalise on the influx of visitors expected in November.

“There will be tens of thousands of people from all over the world coming into our region to witness the eclipse and two Port Douglas organisations have taken the initiative to put on major events to engage visitors,” Cr Schier said.

“The eclipse could be the biggest thing to happen for our tourism industry in the foreseeable future and we want to give people a reason to stay in the region for as long as possible.”

Major Events:
Cairns Ukulele Club Inc – Cairns Ukulele Festival ($15,000)
Port Douglas Chamber of Commerce – Port Douglas Eclipse Festival ($40,000)
Port Douglas Event Management – Solar Eclipse Adventure Marathon ($40,000)
Cairns BMX Club Inc – Qld State BMX Championships ($5000)

Local Community Festivals and Events:
Cairns and Region Multicultural Assoc – Tropical Wave Festival ($10,000)
Cairns Tropical Pride Inc – Cairns Tropical Pride Festival ($7000)
Pacific Communities Council FNQ Inc – Pacific Communities Festival ($3000)

Developmental Events:
Youth Arts Queensland – Heyday Festival ($20,000)
RPM vents Pty Ltd – Tour of the Tropics ($16,668) 

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Jennifer Hill, , 22-02-12 21:37:
I love the ideas , but cant imagine where to put all those people who are 1) watching the eclipse, and 2) running the marathon. One wonders how people could travel around town with all that traffic and roads closed - a probable nightmare. I reckon there is too much happening at the same time. Maybe the marathon could be a few hours later?
Mayor Val , , 15-02-12 19:01:
Thanks Paula. It's going to be an amazing event. It's just fabulous that Port people got on the front foot, got the ideas going and the funding applications in. Well done to PDCC and PDEM indeed and all who've initiated these events.
Paula Johnson, , 15-02-12 14:44:
Why doesn't anyone in the community have anything to say about this article? Thank you CRC for investing in PD. Thank you to 2 organizations (PDCC and PDEM) who have the vision to expand the possibilities arising out of a unique event. Thank you to PDEM for bringing people in addition to the eclipse chasers to the town and thank you to PDCC for keeping them all entertained and presenting local products and services for them to experience. The benefits will flow on to the Port Douglas business community for years to come. Put your happy face on and get ready for the hordes.

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