In response to feedback received on facebook over the last 24 hours, regarding the change of Float Day from Friday to Saturday, the Gala Committee would like to explain that on the 16th of November 2017, the pubs collectively proposed the Float Parade be moved to Saturday afternoon.
No decision was made, as the new committee was yet to be elected.
(18 people had registered an interest in joining the committee and the Facebook post, about the AGM, received 8 “shares”)
On the night, no new potential members attended and the committee was reduced to 10 members.
Following the AGM our Christmas Event was given priority.
On Dec 29th 2017, a message was posted, on our official website, asking people to attend a meeting to discuss Gala 2018. The meeting was to take place on 3rd of January at 7pm in the Market House.
838 people viewed the post on the website between December 30th and Jan 3rd. To put this in perspective, the Gala Website had 30,000 unique visitors in 2017, and a total of 233, 629 page views.
It is a very active site.
No feedback to the post was received. The committee members and the Pub representatives were in attendance.
Following a lengthy discussion of the pro’s and con’s, those in attendance agreed to the 2018 Float Parade moving to Saturday July the 21st.
The rational behind the decision is, to
acknowledge the positive approach from local Publicans, who finance the floats, to increase additional access for families and others, both locally and further afield, a day parade allows for an extended programme on the day, this will contribute to social and economic benefits. To increase footfall as Tourism use this as a criteria for funding. Enables floats to return to their base during daylight and the “floaters” will be able to enjoy the remainder evening entertainment. Importantly, Portaferry will be able to promote itself as a place visitors will want to return to more than once a year.
The day long offer will stagger the influx of people avoiding congestion of previous years and and an earlier finish will reduce the late night incidents experienced by volunteers while cleaning the Square.
In conclusion we thank you for your feedback and we would encourage everyone to feel free to volunteer their time for the benefit of all our Community. Keep an eye out for the next open meeting as other changes to the festival programme will be necessary.
To confirm, Gala Fest 2018 will run from Sunday July 15th to Saturday the 21st.
Local businesses have been approached and when informed of the changes, all have agreed to co-operate and in response to their collective suggestions the Parade is proposed to start at 3pm.
We genuinely feel it will be a positive move and will secure the future of Gala for years to come.