Inaugural Denman Day Out replaces Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair on the menu in 2019

THE Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair may be off the menu in 2019, but another event is sure to attract a big crowd to Denman on the first weekend in May.

Due to a variety of circumstances, the town’s popular “street party” was cancelled late last year, much to the regret of locals and visitors alike.

Instead of bemoaning the announcement, a number of residents banded together to plan the Denman Day Out (Wine and Food Affair Day), which will take place at Denman Oval on Saturday, May 4, from 11am until 4pm.

The inaugural fiesta is expected to feature Two Rivers Wines, Hollydene Estate Wines, a full bar, canteen, markets, food stalls, free kids’ rides and entertainment all day, headlined by Darryl “Carrot” Bowen and The Collective.

“We were worried we’d lose people to the region,” event organiser Jay Shepherdson said.

“So, Denman Day Out is a fill-in for the Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair – on a smaller scale.

“The community’s been very supportive so far.

“In fact, the shop owners and Upper Hunter Country Tourism are right behind us.

“We want to make it a nice outing for the family.

“You can bring a blanket or chair to the venue, soak up the atmosphere or listen to music, while the children play.

“It will be fully-fenced, so security isn’t an issue either.

“We’re really treating it as a ‘community day’.

“Plus, a $10 entry is relatively cheap, too.

“We’d like to host somewhere between 500 and 1000 people.

“If we get 2000, I’ll be stoked.”

Mr Shepherdson admitted it was disappointing the Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair would not be around this year.

But, he understood the reasons behind the decision, stating the Denman Day Out wasn’t seen as a permanent replacement.

“We needed to maintain an event in town [in May],” Mr Shepherdson explained.

“And, keep Denman on the calendar.

“With the [Group 21] rugby league here on the Friday night as well, visitors to the area can make a weekend of it.

“We’re hoping the Wine and Food Affair returns in 2020, bigger and better.”