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Autumn Festival embraces name change

The New England Festival - previously known as the Armidale Autumn Festival - has undergone a name change to better embrace the whole region.

Since its launch 27 years ago, Armidale’s premier event has been a highlight of the local events calendar. The former Autumn Festival Committee’s decision to change the name was an opportunity to reinvigorate the event and build a strong portfolio of events around the festival from March through to May that showcases the beauty of Autumn in the New England region and drives an increase in visitors.

Preparations for the festival are well underway with community favourite elements of the long-running event being retained, including breakfast with the band, Campus to City Canter, the grand parade and pipe band performances on Saturday 16 March.

The focal point of afternoon activities will now be based in the Armidale Mall with live and local entertainment, food stalls and cultural performances by UNE International Hub’s Culturefest. The Australian Army Band Concert will be hosted at Armidale Servies Club from 6.30pm with tickets now available for purchase at the Club.

Float applications are now open and are available on the Council website. The theme for this year’s grand parade is International Heritage of New England. Local businesses, organisations and schools are encouraged to enter the parade and decorate floats in the chosen theme. The grand parade this year will have a slightly different route and participants and spectators are encouraged to keep an eye on Council’s website for further details. 

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Cr Simon Murray said the New England High Country is known across Australia for its vibrant autumn display.

“The move by the committee to change the name and embrace the New England region sets a wonderful platform from which visitors and the community can experience the full transition of Autumn and explore the numerous events that are held during the busy March and April events season,” Cr Murray said.

“Autumn is a special time of the year in the New England. Leveraging our cool climate and vibrant autumn displays are a tourism marketers dream and has the potential to rival other well known autumn display regions like Bright in Victoria and Orange in NSW. We really do have a hidden gem.”

Autumn in the Armidale region will be further celebrated with a new event, the Colour New England Street Arts Festival on Saturday 6 April.

Council and the NSW Government are supporting this community driven initiative to give local artists centre stage – including visual artists, musicians, theatrical performers and artisans. 

“Our region has a wealth of artistic talent that will be brought together by this new festival, to bid a fitting and fond farewell to the longer, warmer days,” Cr Murray said.

Details and updates for the two festivals and many other upcoming events are available on Council’s website and social media channels.

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