OWN IT-That’s the Secret!
As planning swings into full action for our longest serving regional Easter Festival, the renowned Roma Easter in The Country Festival, it is worth noting that this year, other famed festivals have shut their doors and packed up the marquee. They blame economic down turn or slow down for their demise.
But for us, in the Maranoa region, the Roma Easter in the Country Festival goes from strength to strength and is now entering its 39th. Year. There’s no doubt its longevity is due to the Roma community as a whole.
Our successes, and the prominence that brings to the region, the economic stimulus it creates and the showcasing it provides is of huge value to us all. We have over the years treasured that, nurtured it and have this great event as a result.
Our success rests in the hearts and souls of our community.
This Festival is about country and the secret to longevity has been because of that sense of community and that fact that we have for generations now ensured that the community runs, owns and stamps the Festival.
We will not let it become overtly commercial. We have not allowed the Roma Easter in the Country Festival to be stolen by commercialism interests and we’ve always always depended on our locals to actively promote and support us.
It’s the Roma recipe really.
Roma’s Easter in the Country is its own entity, but it maintains those links to us all.
It was born in 1976 by Wattles Football Club, when then President of the Club Noel Miller, on a Sunday afternoon after a particularly hard footy match, climbed onto a bar stool at the Royal Hotel in Roma, and issued the challenge to the Town to stage an Easter Festival of country music.
From this first event to help raise much needed funds for a club house, we’ve managed to establish what is now known as one of the biggest and longest running Festivals in Australia.
This year we’ve begun planning early and in earnest.
This, our 39th year will be about welcoming back those that have made the Easter in the Country their key event for the year and also making sure we keep the program fresh and it seems we continue draw people from far and wide.
So the invitations are issued for Easter at Our Place and the Festival has gone from being a, ‘oh and by the way while you are here’s there’s a bit of a local celebration’ thing’ to a draw card in its own right.
And like moths to the light, they keep coming back only now they bring their friends and acquaintances with them.
It’s also become a generational event.
We find that many of our locals who leave town for uni bring their mates home for the Festival, then get the bug and 39 years on they are coming back with their own families.
So we’ve constantly had to be aware of keeping the program fresh and meet the balance between the traditional draw cards and thrilling new pieces for all to enjoy.
2016, being our 39th Roma Easter in the Country Festival becomes the testing ground for what we hope to achieve over the next 450 years, so there’s lots of variety and plenty of thrills.
And for us here, it’s our time to shine and to enjoy.