Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

The community of Armidale has shone brightly in the face of adversity as the much-needed rain saw the cancellation of many of the 2024 Armidale Autumn Festival celebrations.

Armidale Regional Council made the difficult decision on Friday morning to cancel several events due to unfavourable weather forecasts, including the main street parade. Unfortunately, given the number of stakeholders and moving parts, devising a solution that ensured the whole event could run was difficult, so could not proceed in its full form. While the sodden ground has restricted the market stalls, amusement rides and the live entertainment from taking place in Curtis Park, the Campus to City Canter went ahead, as did the Breakfast with the Band fundraiser.

Performances that were scheduled by New England Conservatorium to be on the stage in the park from 1.30pm were relocated to Armidale Town Hall. And the Campus to City Canter, a joint initiative of Armidale Athletics Club and Sport UNE, made a triumphant return after a four-year absence. The community event aimed at all ages and ability was welcomed back by the 439 participants who turned out on the cool but sunny morning.

This year’s event was a proud moment for the Valente family, who had three generations involved in the Canter. The Valente family are avid supporters of the Armidale Park Run events and the Armidale Athletics Club, so they made sure they were front and centre for the return of the 2024 Canter.

“Fitness is an important part of our family and lifestyle”, said participant Andy Valente.

“This is my son’s first Canter, so we are really happy it went ahead this year.”

Andy’s son is only eight years olde but he has been doing Park Runs for 3 years.

“My mother, Linley, has also been a part of this year’s Canter as a volunteer helping with marshalling runners at the starting line”.

“It has been really great for our family and the community to bring this event back.”

With the Campus to City Canter being run and won, the winners were Caleb Bettison (15:53) (Male), Mia Croker (20:24) (Female), with TAS being the fastest Team.

The Armidale community has also provided great support for the Armidale City Band, who hold their major fundraising ‘Breakfast with the Band’ event in conjunction with the Armidale Autumn Festival. The breakfast is a combined effort by the Armidale City Band, Armidale CWA, Armidale & Dumaresq Lions Club and the Quota Club of Armidale.

“We have been really well supported by the community,” said Northern Tablelands CWA President, Eileen Mitchell.

“A lot of people are coming over for breakfast after the Canter run, to enjoy the band playing. All the groups involved with the breakfast are having a great morning – the Lions Club is on the barbecue, the Quota Club is providing the tea and coffee, and we’re here too.’

“Despite the rain over the past few days, everyone is here working together to put on a great morning for the community.”

Top: Armidale City Band play on (L) and three generations of the Valente family involved in today’s Campus to City Canter in Armidale (R) (supplied)

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