The Hervey Bay Whale Festival returns to the Fraser Coast this year with a stellar line-up of new and signature events.
“The annual Whale Festival is the perfect way for the Fraser Coast community to welcome the humpback whales every year and celebrate our deep connection to the waters off Hervey Bay” Robyn Peach, Events Manager, Fraser Coast Tourism & Events said. “This year we’ve added an orchestra performing a whale themed score under the stars, plus we are bringing the hugely popular seafood festival to Seafront Oval for the first time”
Kicking off with Song to the Ocean, a brand- new addition to the festival this year. This exciting event will showcase acclaimed Australian ensemble DeepBlue, providing audiences with a euphoric musical experience under the night sky. DeepBlue includes master percussionist and Southeast Asia gong expert Michael Askill, Maori Sonic Weaver WHAIA, and Persian violinist Greta Kelly. Song to the Ocean is a free event and will be held at Seafront Oval from 6pm over two nights, 29-30 July.
Crowd favourite The Blessing of the Fleet will be held on Saturday 31 July at 4pm. The annual ritual will be accompanied by plenty of activities for the kids, delicious food, and the alluring Aloha Mai E Chant and so much more! The signature experience of the Whale Festival celebrates the return of the humpback whales, the beginning of the Whale Watching season and the Hervey Bay Whale Watching Fleet. The Blessing is a centuries old tradition believed to have originated in Mediterranean communities to ensure a safe and prosperous season to all vessels. A Butchulla welcome, aloha chant and multi-faith blessing will be the highlight of this year’s event which runs from 4pm – 7pm.
Next on the agenda is the much-loved community Whale Parade & Family Day which will be held on Sunday 1 August from 1pm. The refined event is being held on the new day and time to help create a greater family friendly environment. The event will include the parade, live music, children’s entertainment, rides, and plenty of food vendors to feed the hungry hordes. A special addition this year is the grand homecoming of the Dunga Derby.
The iconic Paddle Out For Whales will take place on Saturday 7 August from 9am, allowing visitors to check out the Torquay Markets after the event wraps up. Those participating will paddle out into the ocean at the designated location (using a paddle board or kayak), form a circle and observe a minute’s silence to remember humpback whales that have died and as a show of support for ongoing conservation. People interested in participating are asked to register for the event via the website www.herveybaywhalefestival.com.au.
Creating Waves is a new event that will be held at the Hervey Bay campus of the University of Sunshine Coast (USC) on Saturday 7 August from 6-8pm. The free event will provide audiences with detailed stories about conservation efforts, scientific research and impacts facing Australia’s Humpback Whales. Participates will need to register via the website.
Wrapping up the Hervey Bay Whale Festival this year is the highly anticipated and incredibly appetizing Seafood Festival on Sunday 8 August. To be held at Hervey Bay’s Seafront Oval for the first time, the festival will be run by new event organises, Fraser Coast Tourism & Events. The change in venue will allow visitors to spread out, enjoy more space to roam and find their own little patch of grass to pitch a picnic blanket. Visitors can expect an outstanding selection of ‘Signature Seafood’ especially curated by some of Hervey Bay’s finest restaurants and food vendors. Showcasing Jazz-inspired live entertainment, cooking demonstrations and an exclusive craft beer bar, visitors can expect a relaxing day in a prime beachfront location. The Seafood Festival is a ticketed event and visitors are encouraged to pre-purchase their tickets via the website www.herveybayseafoodfestival.com.au.
For more information and updates keep an eye on the website.
Article supplied by Fraser Coast Tourism & Events
Photo – Kim Parnell – What’s On Fraser Coast