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EDITORIAL: Challenge for Hibiscus Festival organisers

As the Hibiscus Festival in Suva comes to a close today, there are issues that the organising committee members will have to deal with. But one thing they have no
22 Aug 2015 11:37
EDITORIAL: Challenge for Hibiscus Festival organisers
Nemani-Delaibatiki

As the Hibiscus Festival in Suva comes to a close today, there are issues that the organising committee members will have to deal with.

But one thing they have no control with is the weather which turned the festival grounds at the Carpenters Foreshore into a mud field.

The chorus of complaints from stall operators is understandable.

Compared to last year at Albert Park, this year’s is a financial disaster for many operators.

There were operators wanting a refund of their $3000 stall fee because people stayed away in large numbers.

People did not want to be bogged down in the mud and could not be bothered going to the festival. The typical Suva rain turned the festival grounds into a sea of mud.

Organisers  could have poured sand to provide a dry surface.  Last year it rained too although not much like this year.  But the surface used by people was hard.

Rain has always been associated with the festival in August. For some reason it usually rains at this time of the year. We may put it to climate change or other causes, we all know that come August it is inevitable it will rain.

We have had some fine weather in the past festivals. But they were few and far between.

If organisers want people’s support to continue they must look at the following options:

  • Given that we cannot control the weather, there should be a plan B to ensure that the surface is reasonably solid underfoot.
  • If we cannot do this, then an alternative ground needs to be found
  • Last but not least is changing the dates for a drier month.

The festival could be shifted to the April first term school holidays. It will probably attract more  people because no other major event is happening. Many religious conferences run parallel with the Hibiscus Festival now.

The Methodist Church conference ties up many members in choir competition, a fundraising festival at Furnival Park in Toorak, Suva, and other activities. Thousands attend these conferences.

In April, all these people will focus on one festival. The other option is right after the end of the school year in November. But this gives the crowned Hibiscus queen not enough time to have a breather before preparing for the Miss South Pacific Pageant in December.

The Hibiscus Festival can return to its former glory if the conditions are favourable. Even if it rains people do not have to trudge through ankle-deep mud.

This is the challenge for the organising committee.

Feedback:  nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 

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