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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Latrobe Carnival move to night program sees numbers boost

Latrobe Carnival move to night program sees numbers boost

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Twilight timeslot a hit with entrants

The Advocate
06 Dec, 2011

THIS month's Latrobe Carnival has received a boost in the number of runners following the historic decision to switch the date it is held - from December 26 to December 27 - and the move to a twilight timeslot.

The 113-year-old carnival has been shifted from its traditional Boxing Day date to the following day, which will be a public holiday this year and again in 2012.

The move away from Boxing Day was prompted by falling attendances and competitor numbers, particularly in running events, plus competition from other major sporting events and post- Christmas retail sales.

"December 27 is closer to the Devonport Carnival which suits runners," Latrobe Bicycle Race Club secretary Dennis Chugg said.

"The cyclists have the Launceston Carnival in between Latrobe and Devonport, but it's too big a gap for the runners and many of the mainlanders weren't coming over until Devonport and giving Latrobe a miss."

The switch has already seen instant results, with running entries up across the board compared to previous years.

"It already looks to have been the right move," Chugg said.

He said the reason for the twilight timeslot was to prepare the public for 2013 when the event would not fall on a public holiday.

In 2013 the carnival will be either staged on a normal working day or revert to its Boxing Day date, with the preferred position of the LBRC to retain it as a December 27 event.

"With a twilight timeslot, people who have to work will still be able to make it for the bulk of the program," Chugg said.

This year's twilight program will start at 2pm and run through until 9pm.

The major finals on the program for men and women's gift and wheelrace finals will be held between 7.30pm and 8pm.

The final three events on the program will all be running events, with the 400m finals for men and women and the 1600m final.

"We have some lights on the back straight and home straight which will make the running look quite spectacular, but the lights aren't good enough for cycle racing," Chugg said.

"Maybe by 2013 we may have some new lights and we may be able to look at extending the night-time program," he said.

THE RIGHT MOVE: Latrobe Bicycle Race Club secretary-
treasurer Dennis Chugg (left) and vice-president Noel Pearce
overlook the bike track and grounds where the Latrobe Carnival
will be held on December 27. The carnival's date and time have
changed, resulting in greater competitor numbers.
Picture: Kelly Slater.

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