PHOTO GALLERIES: Foodies dive into seafood at festival
FIFTH generation fisher Loris Riley is one of the reasons the Hervey Bay Seafood Festival exists.
Nineteen years ago, her and other seafood experts in the area decided to set-up market stalls to see what kind of an audience they would attract.
"The first one had 2000-3000 people come along and it's just grown to at least five times the size," Ms Riley said.
These days the festival moves tonnes of fresh, local seafood.
Ms Riley said she was "proud" to see her project bloom into a regular celebration of Hervey Bay's delicious seafood.
She was at the Sunday event, held at Fisherman's Park in Urangan, with her son and daughter-in-law.
Hervey Bay resident Michele Collison was one of several thousand who came in through the gates for the Seafood Festival.
"I come every year to taste test," Ms Collison said. She said "just brilliant" about the calamari she was eating at the time of the interview.
Event organiser Michelle Fuchs said many stalls ran out of seafood within hours, and it was not for the lack of stocking product.
"One site sold out by 12.30pm and had gone through 400kg of prawns," Ms Fuchs said.
"There are 138 sites."
A notable difference to this year's event was that Fisherman's Park was covered in grass, a contrast to the previous dirt surface, meaning attending could spread themselves out and enjoy the weather.
"It's just getting bigger and bigger each year. It was Australia's biggest seafood picnic."
Experts say local is best