PLENTY of no vacancy signs will be turned on by Fraser Coast accommodation providers this week with a crowd of about 9000 visitors expected at this Sunday's annual Seafood Festival.
Showcasing fresh, wild- caught products that are synonymous with the region's thriving fishing industry, festival coordinator Elaine Lewthwaite said the annual event was a major tourism coup for the region with visitors coming from interstate and all around Queensland.
She said the 185-seat Taste of the Bay pop-up restaurant was already booked solid, with one guest coming all the way from Dublin, Ireland.
"The Seafood Festival gives us a point of difference and allows us to draw people to the region," she said.
"It is just growing all the time and it gives us great satisfaction that all the hard work we do is delivering not only for our industry but also for the region.
"Food security is very big in Australia in this day and age and we are lucky to have our industry that has been here for 150 years.
"The message being spread through our festival this year is - an industry that feeds you is worth celebrating!."
Tasty morsels on offer include cooking demonstrations from leading chefs including Javier Codina from Moda Restaurant, seafood and fish-smoking masterclasses, an ocean king prawn eating competition, market stalls and loads of freebies.
Unfortunately, Ms Lewthwaite said, the very popular Hervey Bay scallops was off the menu this year.
"It's a shame we don't have Hervey Bay scallops but they are a prohibited catch at the moment."
Ms Lewthwaite said highlights of this year's festival would include a bumper artistic, music and cultural program with performances by 8 Ball Aitken, Night Kite and The Dennis Sisters.
Eclectic work of regional artists at Art in the Park will be on show including Butchulla art and weaving displays and the recycled metal creations of Bundaberg-based sculptor John Olsen - new to this year's program.
Ms Lewthwaite said council had also spent the last six months beautifying Fisherman's Park in Urangan for the event, which will allow family's to sit down comfortably to enjoy all the attractions.
"Our park is beautifully grassed and green for the first time in 19 years ... it's like a green lawn and just so inviting."
The Seafood Festival will be held in Fisherman's Park, Urangan this Sunday and will run from 9.30am-4pm.
Entry is $5 for adults. Children under 18 are free.
For more information , visit www.herveybayseafoodfestival.com.au.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Robert Mackay from Pacific International Music has put together a fantastic entertainment line-up for this Sunday's Seafood Festival at Fishermen's Park in Urangan, which will run from 9.30am.
There's also an abundance of food stalls, market stalls and demonstrations.
Fishermen's Park Stage:
- 9.30am: Darryl Carr
- 10.05am: Dennis Sisters
- 10.30: Michael Waugh
- 11am: Official welcome
- 11.15am: Michael Waugh
- 11.30am: Phoebe Jay
- 12.05pm: Sam West
- 12.40pm: Night Kite
- 1.50pm: Lou Parker
- 2.30pm: 8 Ball Aitken
- 3.30pm: Luan Baldwin
- 3.50pm: Haighs Jewellers Lucky Gate Draw
- 4pm: Luan Baldwin
- Parking is available at Urangan Point School with connecting festival shuttle. Disabled parking is available close to the festival.
WHAT'S TO EAT?
- Sandy Straits whiting with salad
- king prawn
- Cutlets with dipping sauce
- Chemoula king prawns
- Prawn cocktails
- BBQ tiger prawns with veg pickle
- Salt & pepper calamari
- Chilled banana prawns
- Seafood chowder
- Oyster shooters
- Seafood pies
- Seafood langos
- Soft tacos
- Garlic prawn, grilled or tempura fish varieties.
- Crumbed cuttlefish
- Steamed buns
- Seafood taster plates
- Calamari and stout whiting
- Moreton bay bugs
- Prawn and oyster platters
- Scallop and prawn skewers
- Seafood marinara
- Lots of desserts