If you're a country music fan make plans to remain in Tenterfield next Easter. Country stars Adam Eckersley, Brooke McClymont and Melanie Dyer have been booked for an open concert at the Tenterfield Showground on the Easter Saturday.
They're the drawcard for the first of what will hopefully become an annual festival to draw in visitors to enjoy the shire's autumn colours, and spend money as they do so.
Organisers of the inaugural Autumn Leaves Festival are building a program that spreads over the four days of the Easter weekend (April 2-5 in 2021) and reaches into all corners of the shire, to spread the benefits.
Importantly while they will be organising some key events, they are creating a festival infrastructure that allows others to plug in their own events and activities, to relieve the volunteer organising committee of an overwhelming workload.
The committee comprises Councillor Bronwyn Petrie, Kerri Hampton, Kim Rhodes, Lions Club's Lisa Dalton, and Kate Lee. The initiative received grant funding of $25,000 from the Drought Resilience Fund at the start of the year.
The entertainment precinct at the showground will also feature local breweries, wineries and food businesses. There's plans to bus in concert-goers from Warwick, Stanthorpe and Glen Innes.
Also on the festival program is markets and fun day in Jubilee Park on Easter Saturday featuring a billy cart derby, bushman's challenge, tug-of-war and organised children's games; morning breakfast and Easter egg hunt at Rosenhof Cafe on Easter Sunday followed by a Saddlers Mountain Bike Club ride to work off the fine German fare and/or an exclusive lunch at Glenrock Gardens and/or joining the annual concert at the Piano Mill at Wilsons Downfall; and a Tenterfield Station lawn party on Easter Monday with gourmet food and live music.
There's even talk of a record-breaking venture of some description, such as the most people gathered at the top of Bald Rock.
Visitors leaving on the Monday will be encouraged to take the long way home, checking out some of the shire's natural attractions along the way.
Events are being organised to avoid hampering any efforts of retailers in the CBD to maximise trade during the course of the festival.
More grant funding is being sought as the program firms up. Cr Petrie championed the festival's inclusion when councillors allocated money from the latest round of grants from the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund.
The Autumn Leaves Festival will receive $25,000, assuming council's application is successful.