Super weekend of footy and food set to energise CBD
FORGET Cyclone Oma, there's another storm set to hit Lismore in the next few weeks.
Lismore's award-winning Eat the Street food festival will be held Saturday, March 9, followed by a pre-season clash between the Gold Coast Suns and the Sydney Swans on Sunday, March 10 in a move which Lismore Chamber of Commerce & Industry hopes will bring some much-needed money raining down on local businesses.
Lismore City Council tourism and events manager Mitch Lowe said it was a "good coincidence" the events had fallen together on the same weekend.
"We had a small window of opportunity to host a pre-season game in Lismore," he said.
"We saw this weekend with Eat the Street, and wanted to create a weekend of activity to encourage people to come and stay and enjoy the entire weekend."
Lismore Chamber of Commerce & Industry executive officer Elise Taylor said Eat the Street festival is a great event for Lismore, providing local businesses with a much-needed cash boost after a disappointing Christmas period.
"With attendee numbers expected to exceed 20,000 this year, plus with the addition of the Gold Coast Suns and Sydney Swans clash the following day, we are hoping to see our accommodation, retail and food and beverage operators have a strong weekend of trade," she said.
"It's a great opportunity for our CBD businesses to consider longer trading hours over the weekend in order to capitalise on increased foot traffic and visitation numbers to our region."
The chamber is rightfully optimistic about increased trade, with local motel vacancies already rapidly filling.
The Northern Star contacted four local motels, with three already fully booked out for that weekend.
Lismore City Council acting city centre manager Andrew Walker said Eat the Street attracted more than 18,000 people last year and they are hoping for a crowd of 25,000 in 2019.
He is hoping the addition of the AFL will bring thousands more people into the city and encourages residents to invite friends and relatives to spend a weekend in the heart of the Northern Rivers.
"Come to Lismore for Eat the Street, stay in the city on Saturday night and enjoy a fantastic game of AFL on Sunday. It's a huge weekend of family fun and Lismore will be at its very best," Mr Walker said.
"It's a great weekend that mixes the two things Lismore is all about - sport and culture."
Those looking to buy tickets to the match are encouraged to get in quick.
Grandstand seating for the afternoon fixture has already sold out but general admission tickets are still available with single tickets, kids tickets and family passes available.
For more information or bookings for Eat the Street classes or the AFL match, go to www.visitlismore.com.au.