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Enjoy the winter sunshine at the Fraser Coast's outdoor festivals


Fraser Coast winter days are filled with warm sunshine so locals are rolling out the welcome mat for out-of-towners to enjoy the glorious weather and the Winter of Festivals.

Food lovers, fans of storytelling and those who like to be beside the seaside are covered with the Relish Food and Wine Festival, Mary Poppins Festival and Whale Festival.

Robyn Peach, event manager for Fraser Coast Tourism & Events, said anyone who wanted to make an early start on the festivities could pop into Hervey Bay for the By The C concert on May 11.

“The event will be headlined by rock legend Jimmy Barnes and supported by an amazing line-up of talent with Baby Animals, Mark Seymour & The Undertow, Killing Heidi, Mental as Anything and Boom Crash Opera also performing,” she said.

Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said the annual outdoor concert attracted visitors from around the country and would be talked about for years to come.

 “We have terrific events on the Fraser Coast but not only that, we have warm, sunny winter days and we’re a friendly place with a laid-back lifestyle,” he said.

“Earlier in the year Hervey Bay was judged the second most-welcoming place in Australia – based on customer reviews – and that’s the best recommendation we can hope for.

“I’d invite people to come and experience it for themselves.”

Relish Food and Wine Festival

Mrs Peach said highlights of the Relish Food and Wine Festival in Maryborough on June 1 included a demonstration by celebrity chef Matt Golinski, a Brews and Blues Cruise on the Mary River, a one-hour food journey through historic Customs House and tales of bootlegging barmaids and rum-running rogues at the Bond Store Gin Joint.

Mary Poppins Festival

She said a special guest artist and children’s author would appear during the family-friendly Mary Poppins Festival, from June 28 until July 6, which also featured a stage performance of the Cat in the Hat.

“The main celebration during the festival is the Day in the Park which transforms Maryborough’s heritage streetscapes and riverside parklands with umbrella-decorating workshops, nanny races, a chimney sweep challenge, a skipping show, a grand parade and much more,” Mrs Peach said.

Mayor Seymour said people travelled from interstate to experience some of the magic of Mary Poppins at the event.

“This year The Story Bank, a new interpretive centre, funded by all levels of government, will be open in the heritage-listed building where Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers was born,” he said.

Hervey Bay Whale Festival

Mrs Peach said rounding out the Fraser Coast’s Winter of Festivals was the wonderful Hervey Bay Whale Festival which incorporated a number of community events.

“The Blessing of the Fleet on July 27, continues a long-standing tradition of wishing the commercial fleet a safe and prosperous season, soon after whale watching tours begin,” she said.

Mrs Peach said bright, illuminated floats would roll along the Esplanade on August 3 in the colourful spectacle that formed one half of the Whale Parade and Concert.

“It’s followed on August 4 by the sentimental favourite of the festival – the Paddle Out for Whales,” she said.

“More than a celebration of the humpbacks returning to Hervey Bay, it carries a strong conservation message with a minute of silence being observed to remember the whales that have died during the year and that they still need our protection.”

She said the Fraser Coast Kite Karnival would return this year on August 10 with families encouraged to take to the beach for their own flying fun while professionals launched huge kites in the shapes of sea creatures.

Hervey Bay Seafood Festival

Mrs Peach said the incredibly popular Hervey Bay Seafood Festival, managed by the men and women who actually caught the fish and shellfish, would again attract food lovers to picnic on the grass beneath the shady trees of Fishermen’s Park, listen to live music, watch demonstrations and more on August 11.

“The Fraser Coast is a great place to get away from the crowds and the traffic jams of the big cities and to enjoy the fun and community spirit of our events,” she said.

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