Cracker Night enthusiasts have extra time to work on their fire drums with Tenterfield Lions cancelling this year’s event as they regroup.
The club has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Tenterfield Care Centre (TCC) for both organisations to combine to handle the logistics of putting on the event, with proceeds then going to TCC.
Lions’ president Wayne Lusty said the club was short on manpower at last year’s Cracker Night and was to some extent saved by inclement weather causing a low turnout.
“We covered costs and generated a couple of thousand to donate, but need economies of scale to make the event worthwhile.
“It’s just not viable for the club to run it this year.”
Lions member Greg Sauer is also on the TCC committee and proposed the possibility of the two community organisations teaming up to hold a bigger and better Cracker Night.
With projects on the TCC drawing board Mr Sauer said the involvement in Cracker Night will not only raise funds for the community asset but will also raise the organisation’s profile.
“TCC as an entity does not have a high profile,” he said.
“Generally you have to say ‘Millrace and Haddington’.”
The TCC board aims to address this through its involvement in Cracker Night, with volunteers from both groups forming a subcommittee to begin applying for permits and planning more activities for the night itself. With insufficient time to organise the 2018 event, it was decided to cancel it this year and continue annually from 2019 onwards, on the Queen’s Birthday weekend each June as usual.
Cracker Night will remain a Lions Club event in conjunction with TCC, but with sufficient manpower to host a successful night.
“It will be better-planned, with more people involved,” Mr Sauer said.
The lag between when the gates open and the fireworks begin will be filled with a diverse program of activities, with more for children and the involvement of schools.
“In the past we’ve relied too much on gate-takings,” Mr Sauer said.
The 2019 firedrum sponsor has already been lined up with Ben Sharpe of Ray White Rural agreeing to put up the prizes, and there’ll be workshops in the runup to help with creating a winning entry.
Anyone keen to get involved can volunteer either through Lions or TCC.