Change in venue for Sugar Festival

Sugar Festival Foundation Fiji admin Officer Anita Raj shows the venue where the festival will be held at the Lautoka Club. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

THE Sugar Festival is returning this year but for the first time in 62 years, it will not be held at the Churchill Park carnival grounds.

The festival, which returns after a lapse of three years, will be held at the Lautoka Club grounds which organisers say is a cheaper option.

Sugar Festival Foundation Fiji president Pushp Raj said they could not afford to pay the $6000 that the Lautoka City Council was charging.

“The Lautoka Club space is for free,” he said.

Mr Raj said he understood why residents would be critical of the move.

“There will be discussions around it but if people are going to be critical of this decision then we urge them to also come with solutions.

“We are doing our best to bring back the Sugar Festival for the people of Lautoka using the resources that we have.

“We are quite grateful to the trustees of Lautoka Club and Foundation Committee members for stepping forward and coming up with alternatives.”

He said Lautoka residents should not expect the festival to be as big as past years.

“It will be done at a much smaller scale because of the space that we have been given.

Mr Raj said parking space was an issue that they would also address.

“We understand that there will be parking issues and I do apologise to our Lautoka residents for this inconvenience.

“We do note that people will find it difficult to find parking and we are working to provide enough space for those coming to the festival.”

The festival is expected to be held from August 12 to August 19.

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