Spirits soar at festival of family fun
Stilt performers Beth Sheldon and Clare Stace, of Glimmer, entertained the crowd at the 44th annual FeNaClNG Festival, where thousands of Karratha locals and visitors enjoyed a weekend of family fun.
Karratha Dampier Lions Club president Wayne Donohoe called the club’s annual FeNaClNG Festival a big success as crowds turned out in the thousands.
Although the town’s downturn attracted fewer people at the popular event, Mr Donohoe said he expected fundraising efforts to be about the $50,000 mark.
The 44th FeNaClNG Festival kicked off on Saturday morning with the float parade.
Karratha Primary School won this year’s parade with its colourful float dedicated to promoting sustainability and recycling.
They had some tough competition with Pegs Creek PS coming in second place, Karratha Shotokan Karate club securing third place and Baynton West PS came fourth with its superhero-themed display.
City of Karratha Mayor Peter Long then welcomed the crowd and encouraged people to support local groups and businesses at the festival.
“It gets bigger and better, this festival, and that’s in line with what we’re doing in our town because our town is getting bigger and better every year, too,” he said.
“Please support our local businesses and our local community associations by buying something at their stalls — it’s a great help for them.”
Mr Donohoe said the festival highlights were the two headline acts, Big T and the Australian INXS and Divinyls shows, which drew huge crowds as well as the fireworks display and artist Phil Doncon, aka Paint Stormer.
During his set, the former X-Factor Australia contestant Big T hopped into the crowd, greeting fans and taking selfies while belting out popular tunes.
There were many performances from local schools and groups throughout the weekend.
Crowds enjoyed singing, dancing and demonstrations from the Pegs Creek Primary School Choir, Karratha State Emergency Service, WA Police Pipe Band, Life and Soul fitness, Dance KiX and many more.
On the veranda of the Frank Butler Pavilion celebrity chef Anna Phillips hosted cooking classes and Shana Dean held Heart Weaving workshops where people learnt to weave baskets, dream-catchers and jewellery.
Karratha Junior Soccer Association held a mini roundrobin tournament near the main stage to showcase the sport to the local community and raise money for its club.
Patrons also enjoyed sideshow alley, where they could pick up a showbag, get their adrenaline pumping on one of the rides or win prizes at carnival games.
There were hundreds of market stalls, from clothing and jewellery to camper trailers.
A fireworks display and performance by local band What Now closed the event for the weekend.
Daredevils enjoyed amusements in sideshow alley.