JOYFUL TIMES: Serena Joy and Antonio Mazzella at the 2019 Piazza in the Park Friendship Festival. This year’s event, originally scheduled for June, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Ursula Bentley @CapturedAus
JOYFUL TIMES: Serena Joy and Antonio Mazzella at the 2019 Piazza in the Park Friendship Festival. This year’s event, originally scheduled for June, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo: Ursula Bentley @CapturedAus

Friendship festival postponed

THE popular Italian-themed Piazza in the Park is the latest major Lismore event to fall victim to the COVID-19 crisis.

The popular event has been held for the past four years, usually in late June, and in 2019 was organised in conjunction with a Lismore Italian Film Festival.

Event organisers, the Lismore Friendship Festival Committee, decided it would not be possible to hold the events in June this year, but hope to make a decision in coming months about future plans.

Committee president, Dr Ros Derrett, said the festival had played a significant role in the region's community cultural landscape, and it was intended to continue the celebration with vigour and creativity in the future.

Last year, more than 4500 people attended the Piazza in the Park event at Spinks Park, with more than 300 people enjoying the inaugural Italian Film Festival held at Lismore Cinemas.

Dr Derrett said the committee was determined to offer locals and visitors the free family fun that has been characteristic of the outdoor festival, but only when safe to do so.

She said the committee would work with festival partners, public funders, sponsors, business stakeholders, Lismore City Council, performers, volunteers and stallholders to ensure a full return to sustainable events.

She said the annual festival acknowledged the city's connection with two Italian sister cities and residents of Italian descent who have contributed much to the region's rich cultural life.

Dr Derrett urged the region's residents to keep track of future plans and preparations through the festival's social media platforms and website.



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