FOR the first time Hervey Bay's annual Whale Festival will be stretched across the whole whale watching season from July to November.
Fraser Coast Opportunities general manager David Spear said the Hervey Bay Whale Festival would launch the whale watch season on Saturday, July 19 with a massive celebration combining the International Paddle Out for Whales event, an Ocean of Fun Fest, and fireworks over the ocean.
"Then throughout the whale watch season there will be a full program of events such as the Blessing of the Fleet early next month and an Illumination Lantern Parade and Whale Aid Concert in early October," he said. "Adding to the program will be a number of environmental and educational workshops and displays at the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere," he said.
Mr Spear said with the whales arriving earlier in Hervey Bay and staying longer on their annual migration, it made sense to extend the celebrations.
"This will also allow whale watchers more opportunity to coincide their visit to see these amazing creatures with one of the many Whale Festival activities, enhancing the total visitor experience on offer."
Ocean of Fun - Saturday, July 19, Scarness Beach and Park, 10am - 6pm
Paddle Out for Whales - July 19, Scarness Beach, 2pm - 3pm
Hervey Bay Whale Festival Fireworks Display, July 19, Scarness Park around 6pm.
Blessing of the Fleet - August 9, Urangan Marina Precinct, 4 pm - 7.30 pm
Creating Waves Lecture - August 15, Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere
Illumination Lantern Parade and Whale Aid Concert - October 4, Seafront Oval