Parade all but gone
By ED SOUTHORN and SAMANTHA HEALY
WINTERSUN'S dumped street parade can only be rescued with a massive injection of funds, according to festival organiser Barry McNamara.
But such an outcome is unlikely and there is probably only a few weeks left before any "white knight" rescue for the parade could be arranged anyway, he said.
Mr McNamara said a rescue plan for the parade was not being pursued, even though at least two separate corporate sponsors had offered yesterday to help out.
He also revealed the Surfers Paradise Management Association had offered help to keep the parade alive for the festival's 20th anniversary year and he would meet association representatives next week.
"But there is no way we would ever split Wintersun and run the parade as a separate event in Surfers Paradise," Mr McNamara said.
"We are proudly a Coolangatta and Tweed festival and we'll stay that way."
He said if a government body or any other major group offered many thousands of dollars to save the parade it would have to be reconsidered.
Mr McNamara announced on Thursday that continuing rises in traffic management costs and ongoing difficulties in traffic disruption and dealing with Queensland and NSW authorities had proved too much of a strain on the festival's limited financial and human resources.
He said yesterday there was only a "glimmer of hope" the parade could be saved and any decision would be needed quickly because of planning requirements.
He said all Wintersun's car events, including the Friday, Saturday and Sunday night cruises and all car rallies would continue.
Tweed rock'n'roller Ron Payne, an ex-president of the Gold Coast Rockers, said local accommodation houses should do more to cover Wintersun costs.
"A lot of people just visited for the parade so someone's going to suffer, probably the smaller shops.
"It is sad. I used to take my grandchildren down to watch the parade."