It’s still six months away, but a popular festival in Shepparton’s premier food precinct might be in for a shake-up.
After hailing the past two Fryers St Food Festivals a success, Greater Shepparton City Council has an appetite to broaden the scope of the event.
The council has cast the net out for anyone interested in running a food event on Fryers St later this year.
And creativity is being encouraged when pitching event ideas.
The council’s investment attraction team’s Anthony Nicolaci said while the event had the potential to run in the same way, there was the possibility it could evolve into a different thing entirely.
‘‘We’re hoping to see some unique proposals come our way,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ve opened the process up to other event managers.’’
The plan is for the event to grow, to keep it ‘‘moving, expanding and developing’’ to become a regular, sustainable part of the city’s calendar.
Mr Nicolaci hoped food providers in the region could see the event as an annual celebration they could be involved with.
Proposals are being sought with the hope the event would be organised and run by event managers with some financial and in-kind support from council.
The event aims to showcase local food businesses, celebrate the ‘‘foodbowl identity’’ of the city, confirm Fryers St as the premier food and dining precinct in Shepparton and to diversify major event offerings in the region.
Mr Nicolaci said the council wanted to see an organiser maximise the potential for local businesses to be involved and to ‘‘showcase our offerings.’’
‘‘The more local food provided, the better,’’ he said.
A focus was on the city’s food identity, while a combined objective would be to help leverage what Fryers St already has.
Mr Nicolaci pointed to a key events strategy which aimed to establish Fryers St as a food and dining precinct.
He said this applied to the street’s day-time week-day economy, but also that efforts would be made to help transition this into a night-time economy.
‘‘This (event) is key to building a culture around that,’’ Mr Nicolaci said.
Food trucks, a key point of difference in the past, could continue to be a part of the event, but this depended on the expressions of interest that came back, Mr Nicolaci said.
‘‘We want to make sure we cover all scopes of the foodbowl identity.
‘‘One of the most important parts is to consider local traders first and foremost, helping them maximise their opportunities,’’ Mr Nicolaci said.
The expressions of interest process for the event closes next month, with an event expected to take place on November 17 along Fryers St.
More information will be announced regarding the November event next month.