Festivale tweaks a recipe for success

COOKING classes, improved stall layout and fewer clashes with other events has people booking a year ahead to ensure their place at Festivale early next year.

Festivale chairman Lou Clark said yesterday that planning for the February 13-15 event in Launceston's City Park was well advanced and stallholder applications were now open.

Ms Clark said the success of Dark Mofo in Hobart and AFL matches in Launceston showed that good quality events attracted visitors to the state.

She said after years of running the food and wine event in City Park, organisers had a winning formula, but it was adjusted each year based on customer feedback.

The main entertainment acts have been booked and will be announced in about a month.

Cooking masterclasses will return in February, following the success in recent years of wine and beer masterclasses.

``It has been four years since we have staged cooking demonstrations at Festivale and we felt that perhaps this was a missing ingredient, so to speak, from the successful Festivale recipe,'' Ms Clark said.

``We have also made some minor adjustments to the layout which hopefully will improve the flow of stalls and better use a number of areas in the park.''

Next year's date also means Festivale will not clash with another popular annual event - the Wooden Boat Festival in Hobart.

Ms Clark said a survey found 97 per cent of this year's visitors said they would also attend next year.

She said many interstate visitors had asked for the 2015 dates and had booked accommodation before they left.

``Over 26 years, a committee of volunteers has created a vibrant and engaging summer festival,'' she said.

``Launceston's City Park is a gorgeous place to visit any time of the year and during the second weekend in February it is the perfect venue for Festivale.'' 

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