COVID-19 forces a rethink for school fetes in 2020

Dominic Giannini 22 October 2020
Canberra Girls Grammar School fete 2019

Traditional fete events like face-painting are off the agenda in 2020. Photo: Canberra Girls Grammar School.

It’s fete season in Canberra but, like everything else in 2020, it’s looking a little different this year.

School fetes are important to the social fabric and community engagement, in addition to bringing in funds for the coffers and building a sense of community.

But, in 2020, they are hard to pull off in a COVID-friendly way.

Canberra Girls Grammar School normally pulls in 5,000 fete-goers with over 50 stalls, only this year it will be reserved just for students throughout the week.

Latham Primary School principal Lyndall Read and students

Principal Lyndall Read from Latham Primary School with some students and raffle prizes.

Over in Latham, they have chosen to do things a little differently, but they’re still trying to keep the community together during the pandemic.

The Latham Primary School Fete will join the Folk Festival, Canberra International Music Festival and the Menslink Business Breakfast by moving this year’s celebrations and festivities online.

The online fete will feature a rolling program of events, sales and fundraisers before ending with an online trivia night this Saturday, 24 October.

Videos on Facebook and the fete website will include special guest appearances, kids’ challenges and raffles. A mobile car show of classic and modern muscle and modified cars will also go for a 10-15 minute cruise around Latham, passing the school as well.


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“We put a lot of thought into how the traditional fete could be transformed in an online format, to re-create an exciting experience for families, students and the wider community,” fete coordinator Jo Dynon said.

“We were lucky to have a range of parents willing to take on varying tasks through the process.

Lap of Latham

The ‘Lap of Latham’ will have something for children and big kids alike. Photo: Supplied.

“As fete day draws near, there is an excitement in the air both at school and on our social media channels. This has not been done before, I think everyone is keen to hear how things go.”

It has been an all-round community effort to get the online fete up and running after the original event was cancelled in March.


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One mum created the website to sell fete favourites, including show bags, and more than 50 businesses have donated prizes for the raffle, which includes $3, $5 and $10 mega raffle tickets.

The online fete will take place between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Saturday. More information can be found at Latham P & C or on its Facebook page.


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