Sawtell's big day is so special

NORMA Romeril yesterday tried to put her finger on what has made Sawtell's annual New Year's Day event so special.

The Sawtellian of the Year for 2009, Mrs Romeril said she enjoyed the day because it was a community carnival that was less about making money than it was about bringing people together to have a good time and that gave the event a special flavour.

The Sawtell Super Fun Day must be doing something right, because it has been held for more than 88 years. It began in the 1920s when the North Coast rail line was under construction.

Railway workers living in tents on Sawtell Reserve challenged the locals to compete in various events on the first holiday of the year - New Year's Day.

And it is still happening, although railway gangers may be thinner on the ground - campers and other visitors return every year and join in with enthusiasm.

The leafy reserve on the banks of Bonville Creek is a beautiful space for an outdoor carnival and the event organisers bring a great energy to the day.

They are always on the quest to make each year better than the last, while the fun day retains a distinct Sawtellian character.

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