Mary River icons in lantern parade
A SPECTACULAR laser light show and an evening lantern parade featuring giant lanterns of the Mary’s rare and threateneds will be just a couple of the highlights of this year’s Mary River Festival at Kandanga today.
This year, a newly-created lungfish lantern will join the Mary’s other icons – the Mary River turtle and the Mary River cod, the migratory shorebird, the eastern curlew and, to further remind festivalgoers of the marine connection, a dolphin.
Across the country, the whole weekend will be a time of remembrance, with tomorrow marking the centenary of the signing of the Armistice to end World War I.
Remembrance Day in the Mary Valley has an added dimension, this year marking nine years since then Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett said “no” to the ill-conceived Traveston Crossing dam.
The three-and-a-half-year campaign that led to the Remembrance Day 2009 announcement gave Mary Valley locals a whole new meaning to fighting for your country.
Festival committee organiser Glenda Pickersgill says the festival celebrates not just the “no dam’”decision and the people who fought to bring it about, but also the special communities along the Mary, both human and ecological.
The theme of this year’s festival is citizen science, not a new concept for the Mary, where eight teams of volunteer water watchers take monthly water quality readings for the Mary River Catchment Committee.
The festival has earned a strong reputation for its great music program, heaps of children’s activities, an informative assemblage of presenters in the speaker’s tent, great food, stalls, raffles and lots more.
This year marks the fourth year of MRCCC’s Spring in the Mary photography competition with winners announced at the festival, along with opportunity to vote for people’s choice.
Another highlight this year will be the largest cat’s claw weaving workshop, which has received assistance from the local RADF.
Collectors with a keen eye for the bright yellow flowers have been out collecting the environmental weed, cat’s claw creeper but participants are also encouraged to bring their own.
Gates open at 11.30am with the program kicking off at midday. Organisers have kept this year’s entry at just $5.
For details phone Glenda Pickersgill on 0411 443 589.
OUR ICONS: The Mary River turtle and Mary River cod will be joined by a lungfish at today's Mary River Festival evening lantern parade.