The future of Karratha’s biggest event is in the balance as hopes to revive the FeNaClNG Festival that has been running for nearly half a century suffered a major blow last month. At a meeting on November 25, the Karratha Community Association executive committee unanimously decided it was not in a position to take on the festival which is the Pilbara’s answer to the Perth Royal Show usually hosted by the Karratha Dampier Lions Club. The City of Karratha approached the KCA earlier this year to see if it was interested in running the popular annual August festival that attracts tens of thousands of people to Karratha. In October, the local community group established a subcommittee but ultimately decided against going ahead. KCA chairman James Burrows said now was not the time for the KCA to revive FeNaClNG. “We just weren’t confident that this was probably the right year to make a commitment like that,” he said. “Never say never. Next year might be a whole different ball game but at this stage it’s not enough time between now and then to have the manpower and that sort of stuff to be able to cope with it so we decided against it at this time. “We will just monitor that as we go along and we will see what happens in 2021.” In March the Karratha Dampier Lions Club, which has hosted the festival since its inception in Dampier in July, 1972, announced it would no longer run the festival “due to circumstance beyond our control”. “We would like to apologise for the inconvenience and impact to the community and stallholders concerned,” a statement said. “Lions would like to thank everyone for their support over the many years of the festival. Your support has been greatly appreciated.” It is understood the local Lions branch is no longer active in the town. The City of Karratha said its strong preference was for FeNaClNG to continue to be a community-run festival and has set aside funding to support an event in 2021. “While the City has a long and proud history of supporting the event financially and in-kind, it has been the hard work of passionate community groups that have organised and run the event for the community,” the City said. “While the KCA has indicated it is not in a position to take on the festival, the City will continue to consider options from interested community groups about delivering the event in 2021 and into the future.” The event’s name comes from the chemical symbols of the three main production and export commodities in the area — iron ore, salt, and natural gas.