Curryfest set to attract record numbers

BIG DEAL: Woolgoolga Curryfest 2016 was a big hit. It is hoped the 2017 event will be even bigger.
BIG DEAL: Woolgoolga Curryfest 2016 was a big hit. It is hoped the 2017 event will be even bigger. ROBERT WATKIN

SAVE the date and prepare for a fun day filled with culture and festivities.

The 2017 Curryfest, which takes place on September 23, is fast approaching and has become one of the largest annual festivals on the Coffs Coast.

"Woolgoolga locals are already in preparation mode for the town's signature event," Curryfest event manager Carl Mower said.

A chamber of commerce organising committee and event management team work throughout the year to run the event with local volunteers jumping on board to lend a hand and local businesses providing sponsorship and participating resulting in a community effort.

Last year, Curryfest had a record number of people attending with an estimate of between 15,000 and 17,000 people and organisers are expecting to top these numbers this year.

"Almost a third of the visitors last year were from outside the Coffs Council area and the average stay was 5.7 days, so the event is generating significant tourism with all of the related spinoffs for local accommodation operators, cafes and gift shops in Woolgoolga and the wider Coffs area.

"Many local shops and vendors benefit on festival day itself, but others benefit more in the days before and after the festival when visitors are in town looking for places to stay, shop and eat."

In 2016, the majority of goods and services used by event managers were sourced locally with $37,000 spent locally in Woolgoolga and a further $34,000 spent on the Coffs Coast from equipment hire, advertising and entertainment.

"We donate a share of the profits to the community groups that volunteer to help us on the day with the only requirement being they use the money for local projects."

The event organisers are proud despite cost increases in recent years, the entrance charge is still a family friendly $5 for adults and free for children.

Topics:  crowd curryfest

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