OPINION: Parade takes a lighter look at life in Bathurst and surrounds

PARADE doesn’t know if he can stand the tension any more as he waits for the first big frost to hit his place in West Bathurst.

There have been some flirtations with a below zero morning (Parade’s significant other actually declared that winter had begun a couple of weeks ago and has been enthusiastically running the heater ever since), but Parade has yet to come out in the morning to see a backyard of white.

So why should Parade care?

For two reasons. The first is that the first big frost indicates that it’s time to give up on the vegetable garden for another year and the last few plants that are struggling gamely on can be put out of their misery.

The second reason is that once the really cold weather hits, you can begin to mark off the days until the really cold weather ends. It always feels good to make a start.

Making a start out at The End

IF there’s one place in NSW that is most appropriate to host a festival called The End, it’s Hill End.

And it’s not just because of the village’s name. Parade doesn’t know whether it’s the sense of space out there or the way the buildings and the bush co-exist or the echoes of glory times past, but he always gets a bit of an end-of-the-road vibe (in a good way) when he takes a drive out to Hill End.

The arts and culture festival kicked off on Friday and will continue on Saturday and Sunday.

And just down the highway ...

DOWN the road at Lithgow, meanwhile, Ironfest is set to draw a big crowd.

And when Parade says big, he means big: the figure he read this week is an expected 19,000 people to come through the gates on Saturday and Sunday.

Parade tips his hat to those behind festivals like Ironfest. Building a regional event takes patience, faith, time and the ability to ignore the knockers and naysayers.

It’s not easy to start something, and it can be even harder to continue it in those early years when you’re trying to build an audience. But perseverance can sometimes pay.