Thu, 25 February

Walker Place a buzzing Fringe space

Lily and the Drum entertained Gawler Fringe opening crowds into the night as the headline act. PHOTO: Sara Gilligan

Brendan Simpkins

THE new-look Walker Place finally made its return as a Fringe Festival space on Friday, hosting the opening night of the Gawler Fringe.

It was a long time in the making, with the revamped precinct officially opened in August last year following six months of construction work.

More than $2 million was spent on upgrading the Walker Place-Julian Terrace Precinct.

Traditionally Walker Place has been the main hub for Fringe activity in town, however due to work being undertaken last year, it was forced to temporarily relocate to the Gawler Civic Centre.

Friday was just the second time the precinct had been closed to traffic for an event – the first being its official opening.

Gawler Mayor Karen Redman said she was encouraged by the level of support shown by the community to the event.

“It is really good to get here and actually experience the space and I think it looks fantastic,” she said.

“We have got a bit of greenery, plenty of shade, the weather has been really kind and we have got a bit of a smaller stage so people can get in and out really easily, I think it looks good.

Ms Redman said she was pleased at the turnout for opening night.

One of the only festivals of its kind taking place across the globe, Ms Redman said that “we are the envy of the world” following the launch of the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

“It is really exciting to be back together, despite a pandemic,” she said.

“We have put in the hard yards, we have had to make sacrifices but now here we are, getting back together and enjoying each other’s company with some great local talent.

Allan Dean kicked off the entertainment on opening night with a performance at 3pm, paving the way for other talented local musos to take the stage well into the night, culminating in blues and roots duo Lily and the Drum closing the show.

A traditional Welcome to Country was performed by Jack Buckskin and Kuma Kaaru Aboriginal Dance Group to officially declare the Gawler Fringe open.

Local hotel Prince Albert Hotel provided the beverages for punters, while Rotary Club of Gawler Light cooked a barbeque to keep stomachs full.

For the younger crowd, face painting was available.

Fringe events will be taking place in town up until March 21, with Nunga Fringe taking place in the Civic Centre Library from 11am to 1pm today and Fringe in the Park taking place at Bacton Street Reserve this Saturday.

More information and an events program can be found at (gawler.sa.gov.au/gawlerfringe).

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