In 2021, Joyce Edwards will attend the Crookwell Potato Festival as a paying guest for the first time in seven years.
Three long-standing members of the committee, including the Chairperson, Ms Edwards, stepped down in November. Beverley Houterman and Darian Cameron also resigned.
However, their departure coincides with five new members joining the Festival's organisers.
In her seven years as Chairperson, Ms Edwards has overseen the transformation of the Festival which held its main events at the Memorial Park and Oval until 2017.
More recently, several thousand visitors would descend on the Crookwell AP&H Showground for the Festival held in May.
"I'm proud of how it developed," Ms Edwards said.
"We tried to improve it, and highlight the community, and the goods grown here."
These days, the event holds market stalls, cooking demonstrations, and activities for children. In 2019, chef Lyndey Milan demonstrated classic Irish dishes, and television personality and gardener Costa Georgiadis has visited as a special guest.
Each year the Festival grew and was more enjoyable for the punters, around 50 per cent of these travelled to Crookwell from outside of the district.
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"We had a very good committee and a committee committed to developing the Festival, to making it bigger and better, and they worked very hard."
"I found it a privilege to be a Chairperson and work with these people."
Ms Edwards announced her resignation in a letter to the committee due to ill-health. Mandy McDonald will take over as the new Chair.
The Potato Festival of the future
The Festival is held annually in Crookwell, but this year it was cancelled when the pandemic stopped the world.
However, organisers opted to re-imagine its program virtually to help promote the event. Ms Edwards and several guest presenters dished up their favourite spud recipes in an online cooking show.
"That was a lot of fun," Ms Edwards said.
Many events across the district were cancelled in 2020 and planning challenges, including the risk of a second wave of Covid-19, will continue to disrupt events into next year.
"They [the incoming committee] will have to do things with the Festival to keep it in the communities mind, and publicise it, so it becomes an integral part of the community," Ms Edwards said.
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"It's going to be hard work getting it all going and getting people interested again.
"I wish the new committee well, and I will assist them in any way," she said.
"Next year, I will be like one of the mob. I'll volunteer if they need any help and if my health is alright.
"I'll support it."
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