JAMBEROO residents - have your party hats at the ready and be prepared to smile.
A gala community event coinciding with the re-opening of the much-missed Fredericks IGA Store at Jamberoo will take place in April.
A report to Kiama Council's February 4 meeting recommended the council provide support to the Jamberoo Business Group in hosting a community event to coincide with the re-opening of the store.
The old building burned to the ground in December 2012, but the incident inspired an outpouring of community spirit in the town as residents rallied behind the owners to have the business relocated and operational just days later.
"The fire which destroyed the Fredericks IGA Store at Jamberoo initially had a devastating effect on the local businesses and the community," the council report stated.
"The store provided many of the food needs of the local residents and was a social hub of Jamberoo.
"While the opening of a temporary store was very beneficial, the Jamberoo commercial centre and local residents have continued to struggle."
The council has been advised that the new store should be completed by Saturday, April 12 and the Jamberoo Business Group sought council support to host a major community event to celebrate the re-opening.
Co-owner Carmel Goldsmith said the entire Jamberoo community was excited about the event.
"After the shop burnt down, it really did leave a hole in the community," she said.
"When we had plans for a grand re-opening, we went to the Business Group and said we wanted to do something to really celebrate, and give everyone the chance to come back to enjoy all the great things we had in the past.
"Lots of community groups have come on board to enjoy the festivities and fun on the day.
"The opening of the store is great and exciting, but it's a great time to get the town together and bring the community spirit, and also put some smiles on people's faces in Jamberoo."
The plan includes closing Allowrie Street for four hours on the morning of April 12 to host a community event involving produce stores, mini business expo, wine tasting, cake stalls and entertainment.
The entertainment will include amateur and professional musicians in addition to a photographic and art exhibition.
At the meeting, it was resolved that the council would have an organisational role and contribute $2000 to the event.
A council officer will work with community representatives to plan the event.
The council's $2000 contribution to the event will cover the cost of entertainment, provision of a stage and road closure.
The event is shaping up as a real celebration for the Jamberoo community, with the official reopening of Frederick's IGA store, a street fair and arts trail.
Organiser of the photography competition and arts trail, Linda Faires, said the response has been astounding.
"With the section of Allowrie Street closed from Young Street to the roundabout, it has given everyone a chance to come along and enjoy a real carnival atmosphere," Ms Faires said.
"The Arts Trail that is part of the celebration, has even surprised me. It's about local artists being teased out of their workshops and studios to showcase their amazing talents.
"I've found artists that exhibit internationally but remain humble and unassuming, all within the town.
"We've managed to secure approximately 20 local artists, including talented Dan Edwards, who finished year 12 at Kiama High School last year. He will be part of the group show that extends across different venues within the town including what has been Frederick's Store since the fire at 10 Allowrie Street [which used to be a gallery] as well as pop-up galleries throughout the town.
"We are also thrilled that Christina and Ray Tubman from the soon-to-be opened Belltower Bed and Breakfast, in the old Presbyterian Church, will be holding an open house and be displaying some of our art works.
The verandah at No. 10 will host produce and handcrafts, with a wide variety of goods for sale."
She said the competition in the Jamberoo Bowling Club will be held in two sections, experienced and beginner.
With good prizemoney up for grabs, it aims to engage people with Jamberoo Valley.
"It means different things to different people and the town still sits as a rural town surrounded by urban development.
"It hosts a very creative community underpinned by the dairy industry and rural practices and I have spent a lot of time documenting the town, its characters and the hinterland and I think the comp will bring out even more," she added.
For more information contact Linda Faires on 0401 658 033.