The events centre of Sydney

Parramatta's location at the demographic centre of Sydney places it in an ideal position to host major events for Sydney and the Greater West.

Recognised as the cultural and heritage centre of the west, Parramatta boasts a range of entertainment facilities, including the Riverside Theatres, Parramatta Stadium, Rosehill Racecourse and various accommodation venues.

With an increasing number of quality restaurants and outdoor cafes adding to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the City, Council plans to make the most of the opportunities major events can bring to the community.

Parramatta receives nationwide attention for its Australia Day celebrations. In addition, it has a growing reputation for its involvement in National Aboriginal and Islander Day of Commemoration (NAIDOC) Week, Heritage Week, Carnivale and staging the annual Christmas/New Year Festival.

Lord Mayor Cr Paul Garrard said the City has many people and organisations who are stakeholders in running events but, until now, there has been no coordination or collaboration between them. This lack of cooperation meant many tourism and marketing opportunities were not reaching their full potential.

In response, Council has recently engaged professional consultants, the Clever Events Company, to manage and promote six major events during 1999/2000. This organisation will also examine prospects for staging further events which will serve the cultural and social interests of the community.

The Clever Events Company will promote and develop these events, contributing to three of Council's key aims for Parramatta &endash; Identity, Livability and Prosperity. Close consultation with Council and the community is a major requirement of this contract.

New events being considered include a Parramatta Festival to coincide with Easter, the opening of the football season and the world's richest race for two year old thoroughbreds &endash; the Golden Slipper at Rosehill Racecourse.

Local hero Pat Farmer is also contributing to the spirit of celebration in the City. On May 31 he embarked on a 216 day run around Australia for the Centenary of Federation. This will culminate with him running into Parramatta on New Year's Eve before finishing his record breaking journey at Centennial Park in Sydney on New Year's Day.

Before he began his marathon trek, Pat Farmer was given a Key to the City in honour of his achievements. Just five kilometres from the Homebush Bay Olympics site, Parramatta is positioning itself as the ideal party venue for Olympic participants and spectators.

Similarly, when the Olympic Torch comes to Parramatta just a few days prior to the Opening Ceremony, thousands of people from throughout Western Sydney and beyond are expected to gather in Parramatta Park to celebrate this event. Celebrations will commence at 12 noon and continue well into the evening.