LOCAL businesses are welcoming the return of the Bathurst Winter Festival this year.
(min cost $8)
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For the past two years, the event has been heavily restricted due to COVID-19 restrictions, but this year is the first time since 2019 that the event is going ahead as normal.
Judy King, of King's Antiques and Collectables, is that excited for the festival's return that she's decorated her shop front, something she's been doing since the first festival since 2015.
"We've been doing displays since 2015, to help support council in bringing more visitors to town," she said.
"It's absolutely wonderful to have the festival back.
"It gives something for the kids to do and it gives businesses a reason to bring people into town, for something to do.
"The festival also brings a scatter of expat families back to town. I call it 'back to Bathurst'.
"We use our window display as an advertisement, so that people will come back another time and visit our store."
Mrs King admitted winter is a difficult time for local businesses, so she was full of praise of the festival.
"Anything that can bring people into town for businesses is a good thing," she said.
"People in business know the J months [January, June and July] are slow, especially during winter."
The 2020 event didn't fully go ahead as in normal years, but there was a drive-in cinema and the regular illuminations.
Last year, the winter festival was able to go ahead, however, organisers missed out on the hit from the Sydney visitors due to the lockdown in the state's capital.
The Bathurst Winter Festival is running from July 2-17.
For more information on the Bathurst Winter Festival, visit the website www.bathurstwinterfestival.com.au.
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