Banana Festival lands with Apex Club Murwillumbah

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Banana Jim is jumping for joy!

THE BANANA Festival was officially handed over to the Apex Club of Murwillumbah recently, in a move that could secure the festival’s future for years to come.

The Apex Club of Murwillumbah members held a meeting with the previous owner of the Banana Festival Jennifer Unwin on Friday, August 18, at which time the festival was passed over to Apex in full.

Apex Murwillumbah also held a group meeting on Monday, August 28, to finalise the handover and to accept all responsibilities of the Banana Festival and property.

Apex treasurer Jorja McLeod told The Weekly that the group was ecstatic to have the festival in the hands of the local Apex Club and were looking forward to a bright future for the iconic event.

“We are so happy to have the festival back and we’re planning on taking it slow to build it back up in 2018,” Jorja said.

Apex Club members said it was possible that the festival could run in a reduced capacity this year on Saturday, September 9, or at a later date to be announced.

“We’re waiting on some key information from Tweed Shire Council to determine the best process for this year, however we can already say that next year should be a big comeback for the festival,” she said.

The Apex Tweed Valley Queen Quest will now revert back to the Tweed Valley Banana Queen titles.

Apex members have also confirmed the name will remain the Tweed Valley Banana Festival with no proposed changes.

The club have also introduced the Miss Tweed Valley title which will replace the Charity Queen title.

The club is now calling on past and present sponsors to come forward and show their support for a renewed push to make the festival great both in a reduced capacity this year and in full next year.

“We would really like to encourage support to get the Banana Festival back on track through strong local sponsorship, which can be tailored to local business’s budgets, but will go a long way to assist with mounting running costs,” Jorja said.

Ms Unwin has expressed an interest in remaining involved with the festival to assist, which is being considered by the Apex Club.

“I would like to encourage the community to get involved and get behind the festival each year,” Ms Unwin said.

“Particularly after its been such a tough year for Murwillumbah, I think the Shire needs a great festival.

“I’d also like to encourage younger residents to get involved with the festival, whether that’s through the Queen titles or as volunteers.”

Anyone wanting to get involved in the Banana Festival or to offer assistance are encouraged to phone Apex on: 0413 878 148.