THINK LOCAL: Town ramps up Christmas planning
CHRISTMAS might be more than three months away but local businesses are already getting in the Yuletide spirit with the announcement a parade would return to the town's streets this December.
A regional Christmas street party will take to McDowall St on Friday, December 6.
With Tahnee Holland from Gifts at Teacup, Sharni Beck from Loot, Gabby Barron from Gretel Lane, the Western Star and Maranoa Regional Council, the parade will be a culmination of an effort to drive local shopping.
Ms Beck said it was about getting everyone together for a community-based event.
"The parade was really missed last year and we wanted to see it happen again,” she said.
"We're hoping to see it become a tradition. Hopefully with council now on board it will be easier to make that happen.”
In the lead-up to the event, the My Maranoa program is set to incentivise locals to keep their money local while Christmas shopping.
"We want to encourage small business shopping and shopping locally,” Ms Beck said.
"We're trying to get the community to keep their money local.”
Councillor Cameron O'Neil said not only from his capacity as portfolio chair for events and economic development but also as a local, he was excited to see the event come to fruition.
"We can highlight the initiatives we have been pursuing for some time around engaging local businesses through the My Maranoa program and it's about partnering with key individuals and businesses in the community,” he said.
"There are opportunities to stimulate the local economy.
"From my perspective, I am really excited because it was energetic business owners who brought it to us asking us to partner to facilitate the event. It's about working collectively with key business holders in town to make it a success.”
The Star's Greg Latta said My Maranoa was about local businesses supporting each other, a program adapted from neighbouring Western Downs Regional Council.
"The council has come on board with something they already had in place and we've come on board as their media partner,” he said.
Mrs Barron said now they needed help from the community to ensure the parade was the best event it could be.
"If anybody wants to come on board and help sponsor some of the activities we've got planned, we would love to hear from them,” she said.
"We're setting up an advisory committee, so any local business owners or community members interested in being part of that are encouraged to join.
"This isn't just a Roma event, it's a whole region- wide event, so we want businesses in Surat, Injune, Mitchell, Yuleba and Wallumbilla to get on board as well.”
If you are interested in being part of the group, email your expression of interest to grants@maranoa. qld.gov.au by Wednesday, September 25.
The first meeting of the group is scheduled for 10am on Thursday, September 26, with the group set to meet weekly until the event.