Festival Of Sails

Geelong Connected Communities extends sponsorship

Geelong Connected Communities is celebrating its third year of operation by announcing its continued sponsorship – for the third consecutive year – of the city’s hugely popular Shoreside Festival, a major highlight of the now expanded 2017 Festival of Sails event.

The Shoreside Festival features a long list of free entertainment for the days and nights throughout the week to celebrate Geelong’s iconic Festival of Sails. It attracts thousands of people to the waterfront and Steampacket Gardens with free concerts, children’s entertainment, street performers, amazing on-water displays, market stalls and food trucks, and culminates in the spectacular Australia Day fireworks display.

Geelong Connected Communities (GCC) Chair Roger Grant said that sponsoring a large public event like the Shoreside Festival was an ideal way for the organisation to benefit the Geelong community on a wider level.

“The Festival is a major fixture on the Geelong event calendar, attracting more than 100,000 people, offering a huge range of free entertainment including music, performances and children’s shows to celebrate our great sense of community,” said Mr Grant.

GCC is Australia’s largest community enterprise, operating via a unique model whereby a commission is paid to the company when an account is opened at local Bendigo Bank branches nominating the GCC as its beneficiary. An independent Board of Directors, made up of local community representatives, then allocates those funds directly back into the community in a variety of ways.

“Our sole purpose is to benefit the Geelong community, and in the last two and a half years, we’ve distributed close to $800,000 to worthwhile community projects”, said Mr Grant.

Festival of Sails Chairman Peter Alexander said the Royal Geelong Yacht Club was delighted with the ongoing support of Geelong Connected Communities.

“The Shoreside Festival will feature a huge range of free activities, with something to appeal to the whole family. It also delivers tremendous economic benefits into our community, by attracting thousands of visitors to our great city,” said Mr Alexander.

“Returning next year will be the popular free ‘come and try’ activities on the beach, including sailing, stand-up paddle boarding and beach volleyball. These activities are designed for all ages, with children as young as five welcome to have a go if they’re accompanied by a parent or guardian.”
The Festival of Sails is the largest keelboat sailing regatta in the southern hemisphere and in 2017 the celebrations will extend through the entire week, including Australia Day. The event sees a feast of first class racing as Australia’s finest sailors battle for trophy honours on Corio Bay and thousands of people flock to the Geelong foreshore for the Shoreside Festival’s live entertainment, market stalls, family activities and carnival atmosphere.

The 2017 Festival of Sails, presented by Rex Gorell Land Rover, will be held from Saturday, January 21 to Friday, January 27. The RGYC will once again host the traditional Australia Day festivities and fireworks display on Thursday, January 26, from 9.15pm onwards.

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