Thousands flock to festival
HERVEY Bay’s Seafood Festival is becoming a major tourism drawcard for the Fraser Coast, with visitors coming from interstate and overseas to savour the tastes of Hervey Bay.
Thousands of people descended on Fisherman’s Park at Urangan yesterday to taste the best the region had to offer in seafood and entertainment.
A few relaxed souls dozed in the sun of the perfect winter’s afternoon after filling their bellies with seafood, while the younger and more energetic danced the afternoon away to the sounds of live music.
Gympie woman Nannette Jones was more than impressed with the culinary offerings of the festival.
“We came up for the festival three or four years ago but this is even bigger and better,” she said.
“It was well worth the trip.
“The seafood I’ve had here is like nothing like I’ve had for a very long time. I will definitely be coming back next year.”
Sydneysider Pat Snare was experiencing the Seafood Festival for the first time.
“We haven’t been to Hervey Bay before so we picked the perfect time to visit and we’re loving it,” she said.
Competition was fierce in the Fishing Lines poetry competition, with Urangan resident Pam Tupper taking out top prize with her lines sung to the tune of My Favourite Things from the Sound of Music.
It was the first time she had sung the tune in public but it was enough to impress the crowd that had gathered to vote for the best poem.
“I was thinking of my favourite things and it just seemed to suit the tune perfectly,” she said.
“I was a bit nervous.”
The smells of seafood wafted through the park during the day and some stalls sold out before the day was over.
Rave reviews came from the Tastes of the Bay marquee, where celebrity chef Andrew Mirosch satisfied the crowds with a three-course meal complemented by matching Sirromet wines.
Organiser Elaine Lewthwaite said the festival was a huge success.
“It was a great day for our industry and a great day for Hervey Bay,” Ms Lewthwaite said.
“The volunteers who made this festival happen are priceless. They have slaved for days.
“It all came together. We introduced some new changes this year with a gate charge and a new style of dining and we put something together that everyone can be really proud of.”