Gloucester Chill Out Festival a boost to local economy

Louise Rakowski at her Gourmet Taste Sensations stall. Photo: Scott Calvin.
Louise Rakowski at her Gourmet Taste Sensations stall. Photo: Scott Calvin.

This year's Chill Out Festival proved an economic success for the businesses and people of Gloucester.

With an expanded program across the weekend of July 27 and 28, the festival attracted hundreds of visitors and locals to the streets of Gloucester.

Event organiser Linay Eagar said the festival not only provided a financial boost to the town but a unique and fun weekend escape to the Gloucester Valley.

"We (the organising committee) had great feedback from the local businesses," Linay said.

"We were also thrilled to see so many people in town, it's great the festival brought them and had a social influence on them."

The visitors were certainly taken care of with hotels and other accommodation options packed to the rafters.

This was the first time the festival stretched across two days.

"We wanted to expand it to make a weekend getaway to Gloucester," Linay said.

"People came out to see the beautiful setting of Gloucester in winter so it was a win-win situation."

The wide range of activities ensured there was something for everyone.

"The festival showed what a diverse range of activities we have here in Gloucester," Linay said.

The Aussie Night Markets were a hit.

As the sun set over Gloucester District Park, festival-goers visited more than 50 food stalls and retail outlets.

The dog show, travel expo and Tin Hare rides were popular while the doughnut eating competition and wood chopping events were interesting spectacles for onlookers.

The festival even catered for motor enthusiasts with a car show.

The Lions Club, Rotary Club, State Emergency Service and Rural Fire Service also held displays and barbecues.

It wouldn't be a festival without plenty of live entertainment.

Local musos shared their talents before Aussie rock icons Mental As Anything performed at Gloucester Soldiers Club.

Several businesses held community events throughout the town on Sunday to round out the event.

While the organising committee is yet to have a post festival debrief, early indications suggest it will be back bigger and better next year.