Burns Fest’ draws a crowd

Young bagpipers were just some of the local musicians to show off their talents at the Robert Camperdown’s Robert BBurns Scottish Festival over the weekend.Camperdown’s Robert B

A COMMITMENT to affordable family entertainment helped make Camperdown’s Robert Burns Scottish Festival a success, according to festival co-ordinator Catherine O’Flynn.

“It was very successful. There were sold out events,” she said.

“The gala dinner was a great success and we had to tell people we were sold out.”

Mrs O’Flynn said refreshing the format helped revive the festival.

“The purpose of refreshing the festival for the committee was a focus on offering an opportunity for the community to experience Scottish culture,” she said.

“Our charter was to keep everything as affordable and accessible as possible.

“It was very well supported and we’re grateful.”

From the prose of Scotland’s favourite bard and lively Celtic tunes to the twirl of tartan and taste of shortbread, all things Scottish were celebrated in Camperdown over the weekend.

Activities were held to include the wider community, with sessions including Camperdown’s school community.

Primary school and secondary school students helped create an atmosphere in Camperdown, with artwork displayed in the township.

Delgado’s Coffee Bar and Restaurant and the Hampden Hotel also joined the fun with live entertainment.

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Camperdown’s iconic clock tower was open to climb, while visitors were welcomed to view the interior of the Masonic Lodge and wander through the town’s heritage museum to view displays of notable local Scots and various Scottish kilts.

A program of four speakers offered insights ranging from local Scottish connections and the immigrant food experience of early settlers to the many faces of Robert Burns himself.

A strong focus on young musicians this year paid off, according to Mrs O’Flynn.

“People were just blown away with the talent of the acts,” she said.

“Many of the young people in the bands were locals.”

Mrs O’Flynn paid tribute to sponsors of the community run event.

“The Corangamite Shire Council gave us $5000 seed funding and in-kind support,” she said.

“We were able to secure substantial philanthropic funding which was wonderful.

“Ticket sales were good. We’re in a very strong financial position.”

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