RETAILERS in Drouin have reported mixed yet strong results from this year’s “I love Drouin”-themed Ficifolia Festival.
Above: Kayla Eshuis watches the Ficifolia Festival fireworks in Drouin. Photo by William PJ Kulich.
First published in the 27 February edition of the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen. Get your copy today from retailers across Baw Baw.
Some businesses reported a greater number of patrons and income from the event compared to previous years’ festivals, while others had a decline in patronage due to the weather.
Proprietor of the French Pear Café Andrew Dumergue was pleased with the business his café generated from the festival.
“The poor weather didn’t seem to have any effect on business at all, only condensed it,” he told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
“Sales increased over the duration of the event.
“It’s [the café’s] third year doing Ficifolia, which is a marvellous event. Us being in the food and coffee industry, the event provides us with a great chance to market our business.”
While Mr Dumergue’s business pulled more customers at this year’s festival, Drouin Gourmet Café manager Trudy Tambasis said her business’ income was less than that from previous festivals.
“The number of customers we had were slightly down from last year, due to the rain forecast, which drove people away,” Ms Tambasis said.
The Drouin Business Group is responsible for coordinating the Ficifolia Festival and over the years has developed a strong relationship with the festival’s committee.
Group president Helen Taylor said retailers which extended their business hours experienced a greater number of sales.
“The stores that were open later in the day tended to fair better with their sales,” she told the Warragul & Baw Baw Citizen.
“The Baker’s Bean café near Woolworths had their sales go through the roof.”
Ms Taylor said that while some retailers may not have generated as much business as they would have liked to, the overall response to the event has been strong.
“Considering the weather, the response we received has only been positive,” she said.
“Initially the townspeople tended to linger in certain pockets of town, however later in the day they became properly immersed in the event’s proceedings.
“The numbers at the Civic Park events were up from last year.”
Ms Taylor said the Drouin Business Group was looking forward to celebrating next year’s Ficifolia Festival.
“We have been involved with the Ficifolia Festival for five years now. Before that [we were] the Chamber of Commerce,” she said.
“The festival is fantastic and continues to grow every year. There is 100 per cent awareness of Drouin and what we have.
“You can’t put a price on that type of advertisement.”
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