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Sun. May 26th, 2024

Tenterfield is on the map after another hugely successful Autumn Festival over the Easter long weekend.

Despite a rainy start Friday and winds throughout the weekend, that didn’t stop crowds pulling on their jackets and taking full advantage of what was on offer.

“We had enormous crowds in the CBD, especially the Saturday which is evident to be the most popular day with markets, camp oven cooking and Eat Street into the evening,” said Kerri Hampton, Tenterfield Autumn Festival Committee member.

The festival is a testament to the strong economic direction Tenterfield shire is attracting to the New England and its businesses.

“We had record days with trade for our retailers and hospitality businesses, which is amazing,” Kerri said.

“Now in its third year, we are building on what we have done.”

“We were very limited with budget this year with what we could do, but it is becoming a force to be reckoned with and it underpins the economy of the town, and the CBD precinct.”

“If you have big weekends that bring thousands of people it solidifies your bottom line and if businesses know they have that too look forward to then commercial business start to make more sense.”

“And we are starting to see new business coming to town because of that.”

Tenterfield has welcomed two new businesses the last few months, with the Reject Shop and Barra Jacks Fish and Chip shop opening their doors, proving business are interested in investing in Tenterfield.

“Tenterfield is becoming a destination town.”

“We are in that magic three-hour radius of the Gold Coast, Tweet Heads, Ballina Shire, Byron Shire, and Brisbane.”

“The number of new people coming to town in the last two years from those regions is enormous,” Kerri said.

Tenterfield has a lot to offer with new ventures opening up, including Angry Bull Trails pushing for the small town to become internationally recognised as a mountain biking hub, and tourists can’t get enough.

Ron Wilson, also known as King Brown, has brought his camp oven cooking demonstrations to town two years in a row, with the Autumn Festival a highlight in his calendar.

“Definitely noticing the large crowds, and I love being here and being a part of the festival,” he said.

“I have been serving up scones, damper, hot cross buns. But not your traditional hot cross buns, mine come with rum, raising and bacon.”

Word is spreading about Tenterfield’s Eat Street, which has now become a monthly event in town. Eat Street saw more than 1,500 people through the gate on Saturday, eager to taste Tenterfield.

“There is a real tree change experience to be had in Tenterfield,” Kerri said.

“It’s unlike Noosa where you get more beaches, more crowds and traffic.”

“Tenterfield you get a thousand metres of altitude, you get cooler climate, you get history and there are lots of different things here.”

“Events like this don’t happened without tireless volunteers and community members,” she said.

“Sherelle Fashions was instrumental, Tenterfield Bowls Club, Tenterfield Shire Council, committee members, and so many more.”

“A combination of a lot of people to thank, business and entities, and for without them the festival would not run.”

With 2023 to the wind, literally, plans for 2024 are already ramping up as the committee looks for the next big thing to bring to Tenterfield. Lock in your dates, Friday 29th March to 1st April 2024.

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