Parade pushed back while floats get replaced

Hervey Bay Whale Festival Illumination parade won't be the same this year as an environmental focus sees floats replaced by feet.
Hervey Bay Whale Festival Illumination parade won't be the same this year as an environmental focus sees floats replaced by feet. Valerie Horton

FURTHER changes to the annual Whale Festival Illumination Parade have pushed the event back to October 18.

It comes after the popular Esplanade float parade was already swapped for an "environmentally friendly" lantern walk from Freedom Park to the Fraser Coast Discovery Centre.

Fraser Coast Opportunities events manager Kim Griffith said the decision to reinvent the parade was made amid concerns the floats had become "commercially focussed" and argued the event was "too labour intensive".

She explained about 60 rural firies needed to be brought in to watch over the parade in its original format and FCO wanted to try something different.

Schools, community groups and businesses are now invited to sign up for the new-look parade which carries the theme Mystery of the Oceans - Legends Under the Sea.

This year's parade will also include a free Whale Aid Concert, which will run until 10.30pm.

Asked whether he believed the changing the popular parade was wise, Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said he was a fan of reducing the footprint where possible.

He said he hoped to see more events take place off the road and when weather and tides permit, even on the beach. To register, visit

New-look changes

  • The lantern walk will take place on October 18 at 6pm
  • Whale Aid Concert runs from 5pm to 10.30pm
  • Entry is free
  • Gold coin donations encouraged
  • Prizes for best dressed
  • Registrations for parade will remain open until day before

Topics:  fraser coast fraser coast opportunities hervey bay illumination parade whale season

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