Sunshine provides a fitting finale

ORGANISERS and most stall-holders said yesterday's Festivale Sunday was the best they had ever seen.

While the three-day food and wine event at Launceston's City Park started slower than normal because of strong winds and gloomy weather, yesterday's bright blue skies make up for it.

The crowds flowed steadily through the gates from 10am and by 1pm most of the 270 tables and 2500 chairs were full.

In fact, the atmosphere was so good that families remained in the park with their picnic rugs until after 5pm, an hour after the event finished.

Festivale committee chairwoman Lou Clark described yesterday as beautiful and said the 25th year of the event was pleasing.

``Generally we were pretty pleased with how it's gone, and given all the other festivals happening around the state, Festivale has held its own,'' Ms Clark said.

``Just looking at the crowd I think it would go close to being one of the biggest crowds we've had on a Sunday.

``We haven't looked very closely at the numbers yet, but we'd anticipate it would be on par with last year.''

Last year more than 35,000 people attended.

For Tamar Valley Woodfired Catering the whole weekend was a success.

``We were flat out all weekend,'' co-owner Kevin Barnett said.

``On Saturday we didn't stop for 5 1/2 hours, the lines were down to the tables.''

Goaty Hill co-owner Natasha Nieuwhof said the three days were fantastic.

``It's such a great local event that's well supported by the community,'' she said.

However, Bream Creek Vineyard owner Fred Peacock said it would be better if Festivale wasn't the same weekend as the Wooden Boat Festival so more people from the South could attend.

``The two events have to be separated,'' he said.

He recommended that they be a week apart, which could also attract more interstate people for a week's holiday in Tasmania.

``That would be a major boast for tourism,'' he said.

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