I’ve mentioned a few times the festivals that different little towns run in Tasmania, designed to bring tourists and visitors from out of town into town. These are fun, and add to the interest of living in an island state without a big population. As well as these festivals, there are also local activities designed to bring the local community together for a common purpose. In a big city, there are many activities that people are involved in, but the majority of them seem to revolve around events that support a particular interest of each family – school fetes, sporting competitions, dance recitals etc. There seem to be fewer activities that are specifically designed as ‘community building’.
Last weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to an event I would call truly community building – a winter solstice celebration, in a small community about 2 hours from where I live. This annual event is designed to bring people together in the middle of winter for food and fun, and at the same time, raise funds for the community hall. Local community members made a ton of amazing food, donated items for the chocolate wheel spins, more items for the produce auction, helped decorate the hall and encouraged their neighbours to turn up and enjoy themselves.
The fire at the back of the hall and the heaters were warming, but not as cheering as the camaraderie, the chat, the team of volunteers who cleaned up and served all night, the laughter and stories told.