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Bingara is preparing for the 2021 Happy Days Orange Festival

Local children have been guarding the trees in the lead-up to the annual harvest to ensure that the oranges are ripe for the picking.
Local children have been guarding the trees in the lead-up to the annual harvest to ensure that the oranges are ripe for the picking.

The Bingara Special Events Committee have been working excitedly towards the 2021 Happy Days Orange Festival.

After COVID-19 restrictions saw the 2020 festival cancelled, the committee cannot wait to bring this year's festival to the community and invite people back to Bingara to help celebrate all that the festival signifies.

The Orange Picking Ceremony is set to take place on Friday, June 25.

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The local children have been guarding the trees in the lead-up to the annual harvest to ensure that the oranges are ripe for the picking.

Friday evening there will be a screening of Mamma Mia at the Roxy Theatre, so dress up in your finest outfit and go along for some singing and dancing in the aisles.

Saturday June 26 will see the orange festival take over the main street of Bingara.

There is sure to be something for everyone at this year's event. The Zephyr Project, a retro-inspired band will be providing a variety of different tunes from the golden era including jump blues, rockabilly, swing and rock and roll.

They will be turning back time by performing classics by the great artists including Chuck Berry, Bill Haley, Ray Charles and many more.

There will also be a variety of market stalls, bubble gum blowing competitions, hula hoop competitions, vintage car displays, musical performances and, the grand finale, the festival parade.

The Happy Days Orange Festival was introduced in 1998 and has grown significantly since its humble beginnings.

The festival was initially introduced as an extension of the orange picking ceremony, a tradition that marked 60 years in 2020.

This year the event received federal funding through the Department of Veterans' Affairs via the Saluting Their Services Commemorations program.

These funds will help the committee with running costs of the festival.

Marketing and tourism team leader Casey McClymont stated that 2020 would have been the 60th anniversary of orange picking in Bingara however like many events last year was cancelled due to COVID-19.

"We missed the 60th anniversary of our beloved orange picking last year, a tradition that signifies so much to so many, so we want to make this year's event a 'do over' of the 60th anniversary," miss McClymont said.

"2021 will also be the 23rd anniversary of the orange festival, a festival that was born from our orange picking harvest that Bingara residents, especially the children take such pride in.

"We would really like to take this year to remind people of the significance of the orange trees and the historical importance behind the festival itself."

For further information contact Casey McClymont on 02 6724 2000 or if you wish to book a market stall, contact Jen Mead on 02 6724 0066.

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This story Bingara's proudly guarded oranges almost ready to be picked first appeared on The Inverell Times.