Kingston is set to get a slice of the Fringe pie, with the biggest open access arts festival in the Southern Hemisphere heading to the tiny coastal community in March 2022.
To continue to aid the community in recovery from the Keilira bushfire, Kingston District Council has secured funding through Wellbeing SA’s ‘Strengthening Community Wellbeing after Bushfires Grant’ which it will use to bring the Fringe caravan to Kingston to provide a free pop-up hit of Fringe flavour.
Mayor Kay Rasheed said she was looking forward to the two-hour spectacular of family friendly entertainment and culture which will encourage locals to be part of something unique, quirky and inclusive.
“Kingston Fringe supports our objectives of a thriving destination and strong communities to ensure we remain vibrant, progressive and prosperous, with access to arts which is inspired by diversity and cultural experiences,” she said.
“Our community continues to recover from bushfires and impacts of COVID-19; an event like this will encourage community participation and wellbeing, whilst emphasising our strong desire to building resilience in our community.”
Mayor Rasheed said while already piloting a highly regarded community resilience and participation program, the Fringe event was another example of how the council continued to “trailblaze its local led disaster recovery program”.
“We are a town that has minimal performing arts and large event exposure due to our regionality and council’s ongoing coastal challenges which put extreme pressure on a budget already stretched to the limit,” she said.
“I know the community will appreciate us securing funding to bring the Fringe to town and in turn embrace the event.
“It is not very often a small regional community like ours gets to experience such a well-known, culturally rich and diverse event without having to travel or pay for it.
“We are grateful to the Government of South Australia, Wellbeing SA and Country SA PHN for supporting our ongoing community wellbeing, resilience and participation initiatives.”
Chief executive Nat Traeger, who founded the pilot program, is passionate about community development, community health and wellbeing and was delighted about the thought of such a high-profile event coming to Kingston.
“Whilst event planning is in the early stages, now that we know we have it, we intend to value add to make it a spectacular community event,” she said.
“Not only will it be spectacular for the locals, we also know a high-profile event like this will bring visitors from far and wide and provide an economic injection for our business community as well.
“Whether it’s a colour-run, street party, markets, or some form of ephemeral art installation such as a sand sculpture, there is no doubt our organising team will make it an all-inclusive, all access fun event for all ages.”