Proud of Paige

Rochester will play host to the second annual Moore Street Food, Wine and Music festival on Sunday. 

And the town has 17-year-old Rochester Secondary College student Paige Crouch to thank for that.

Paige took on organising the festival on her own this year after her father and Shamrock Hotel owner Ian Crouch ran the event in 2013. 

“He knows this is what I want to do and he thought I was cable of organising it myself this time,” Paige said. 

Mr Crouch is extremely proud of his daughter.

“She’s organised the entire event 100 per cent on her own,” he said.

“She’s organised permits for the shire, banners to be printed and five or six bands.”

Paige even wrote her own media release and designed a professional-looking logo for the event, with help from her VCE teacher Ash French. 

“I thought it was a good idea, its great experience for when I’m older," Paige said.

Paige has been organising the event since late January.

“I’ve hardly had any involvement, only supported her where she needs it,” Mr Crouch said. 

When Paige finishes high school at the end of this year, she hopes to move to Melbourne and work in hospitality, preferably at a cafe or bar.

Last year, Paige completed her Certificate II in Hospitality and is this year studying a variety of Year 12 VCE and VCAL subjects. 

Rochester’s Moore Street will be closed off from noon for the event. 

Kits Kafe will be selling produce throughout the day while the Wine Tavern will be hosting wine tastings. 

The Shamrock Hotel will also be serving tapas and local wines.

The music line up includes local talent Albian, Milksteak and Ella Spizzica. 

“I go to school with the guys from Milksteak, so they’re just doing me a favour and for exposure,” Paige said. 

The festival is free to attend, but to pay for the musicians, Paige is organising a raffle with donated goods to cover the costs.

Tyler Hudson, a contestant from TV show X-Factor last year, will be performing a set from 3pm.

“Tyler is from Echuca and I knew he did a lot of gigs up there,” Paige said. 

“So I just messaged him on Facebook asking if he was interested and he said yes straight away.”

About 1500 people attended last year’s inaugural festival, but Paige expects more this year with Tyler Hudson performing.

“I’m expecting the same crowd if not more this year... particularly for the music.”

Mr Crouch said the festival will definitely continue each year and Paige will continue to have significant involvement.

“We are hoping the festival will grow in size each year,” he said.

“We have a few places ready to go if we do have to expand the festival to accommodate bigger crowds.”

Paige has won the Junior Citizen Australia award for hospitality and also won the award for the Region’s Best Cook in a cook-off involving 120 local schools.

One day, Paige hopes to own her own cafe on a beach somewhere.

The Rochester Moore Street Food, Wine and Music Festival will begin at noon on Sunday. 

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