Street festival reignites community spirit

Street Festival 2140 has lit up the Homebush West and Homebush Village town centres after lockdown

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Street festival to reignite community spirit and support local businesses after the challenging extended lockdowns

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Strathfield Council is bringing Homebush West and Homebush back to life after lockdown with a vibrant street festival held across 12 days and nights ending on April 9.

Street Festival 2140 has lit up the Homebush West and Homebush Village town centres in a bid to reignite community spirit and support local businesses after the challenging extended lockdowns of last year.

Mayor Matthew Blackmore said: "Strathfield Council was one of the 12 LGAs that faced the harshest restrictions due to COVID-19, and while restrictions have lifted, the economic recovery has been slow.

"Street Festival 2140 celebrates our vibrant cultural endeavours and local businesses, as well as encourages participation to instil a renewed sense of community, underpinned by a beautification initiative that will improve the aesthetics and ambience of the areas.

"The past year has been a difficult time for all of us, particularly the two key town centres Homebush Village and Homebush West, as businesses now try to rebuild from not only extended lockdowns but also decreased consumer confidence.

"We're committed to stimulating economic recovery and doing what we can to give residents and visitors the chance to enjoy great local artists and support local businesses who were impacted significantly by extended lockdowns."

Over the six weekends of the festival, a buzzing program of local performers, artists, kids' activities and market stalls will showcase the diverse cultures and talent within the vibrant Strathfield community.

Street Festival 2140 will have a long-term positive impact, leaving a legacy footprint in the community. Permanent festoon lighting, planter boxes, historical artwork, garden restoration, artist cubes, repainted fence lines and mural art infrastructure are planned for the festival, improving the visual appeal of the town centres and encouraging visitation to the area.

Street artists Sheila Tan and Bill Stroulios are among the artists who will participate in the festival, painting murals and street art to celebrate the diverse local culture and create a more inclusive space for social and cultural activity.

Strathfield Council CEO Henry Wong said: "It is through the support of the NSW Government's Festival of Place - Open Streets funding program that we have been able to hold Street Festival 2140. Bringing more visitors into the town to connect with local businesses such as eateries and cafes will help in developing more permanent foot traffic and improve night-time economy."

Almost 70 per cent of residents within Homebush West and Homebush speak a language other than English at home. Street Festival 2140 connects the many cultures in the area with events aimed at creating opportunities for social and cultural appreciation. Among the diverse range of performers are Cuban Big Band, Drumbeats African Drummers, Australian Chinese Community Association Dancers, the Nartan Institute of Performing Arts and many more.

The line-up also showcases local schools, including St Martha's Primary Choir & Strings and Strathfield Girls High School. Children's activities are scheduled from 1-5pm, including henna tattooing, face painting, origami workshops, lantern making, rides and amusements.

"We hope that the Street Festival 2140 will inspire our residents to support local businesses and inject a sense of pride within the areas," Cr Blackmore said.

Street Festival 2140 is funded by the NSW Government's The Festival of Place.

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