The Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival has been crowned ‘Major Event of the Year’ by peak body Parks and Leisure Australia at the 2018 Regional Awards of Excellence held in Tamworth on 10-11 May.
The Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival has grown from a modest weekend event attracting some 5,000 visitors six year ago into the nation’s premier celebration of Japanese culture and cuisine; and the largest horticultural festival in NSW.
Mayor Greg Cummings congratulated Council staff for their efforts, saying the Award of Excellence was richly deserved.
“The Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs for ten days during the tree’s bloom period at the Auburn Botanic Gardens, is one of the great success stories of Cumberland Council,” said Mayor Cummings.
“The event has become a major driver of tourism to Cumberland, attracting just over 90,000 visitors in 2017, of which some 62,000 were from outside the LGA.
“The flow on effect to local businesses is considerable, adding an estimated $3.8m to the local economy and providing ample opportunities for local businesses to get on board.
“However the greatest benefits are to the local community. All local residents receive free access to both the Gardens and Festival activities.
“The Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival really has something for everyone with kids’ days, seniors’ days, social media friendly days, gardening days, plus a good mix of mainstream food and entertainment offerings.
“The event is also highly accessible using way-finding plans, ‘quiet nights’ and accessible amenities, as well as interpreters for international visitors.
“Last year it was media personality and guest presenter Graham Ross, from The Garden Clinic, who declared the Sydney Cherry Blossom Festival ‘the largest Horticultural Festival in NSW’.
“All this was delivered at no cost to rate payers. As of 2017 the Festival has made a profit allowing Council to reinvest money back into the Auburn Botanic Gardens.
“The award will no doubt be the first of many for an event that has become a fixture in Sydney’s social calendar.
“The 2018 Sydney Cherry Blossom promises to be the biggest and best yet! We are encouraging residents to visit our website to pre-register for the latest information and updates.”