Bril­liant year for the Ro­tary Street Pa­rade

Whitsunday Times - - 2014 WHITSUNDAY REEF FESTIVAL -

MORE than 400 peo­ple took part in this year’s Whit­sun­day Reef Fes­ti­val street pa­rade, spon­sored by the Ro­tary Club of Air­lie Beach.

A to­tal of 34 floats tra­versed the length of the Air­lie Beach main street with en­trants rang­ing from schools to com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions to lo­cal busi­nesses.

Reef Fes­ti­val nam­ing rights spon­sors Tony Brown and Deb Small­man, from True Blue Sail­ing, were at the fore­front of the pa­rade and could not be missed with their ninja tur­tle en­tourage and Fiat Bam­bino, dec­o­rated with a colour­ful reef scene.

The pa­rade’s ‘heart of the reef’ theme was em­braced by all en­trants, with some in­no­va­tive in­ter­pre­ta­tions and po­lit­i­cal state­ments made.

Speak­ing on be­half of the com­mu­nity group Whit­sun­day Res­i­dents Against Dump­ing (WRAD), who won the pa­rade’s best not-for-profit cat­e­gory, Brit­tney Gre­gory said WRAD’s float was about cel­e­brat­ing the reef but also bring­ing home the mes­sage that it is un­der threat from dredg­ing and dump­ing in its world her­itage wa­ters.

“On the way up the main street we cel­e­brated our beau­ti­ful Great Bar­rier Reef [and] on the way back we mourned the death of it – let’s choose to pro­tect this reef, so we can con­tinue cel­e­brat­ing it,” she said.

Pa­rade co-or­di­na­tor and Ro­tar­ian Merewyn Wright, said this year’s street pa­rade was cer­tainly the big­gest for sev­eral years and she thanked all the en­trants for the amount of work they put into their cos­tumes and floats.

Reef Fes­ti­val chair­woman Margie Murphy also thanked the lo­cal VMR and SES who helped with mar­shalling and road clo­sures through­out the event.

REEF THEMED: There were some colour­ful en­trants to this year's Ro­tary Street Pa­rade.

TUR­TLE POWER: 2014 Reef Fes­ti­val spon­sors Deb Small­man and Tony Brown, led the Ro­tary Street Pa­rade on Satur­day in their Fiat Bam­bino, flanked by an army of lolly-throw­ing ninja tur­tles, who were loved by the crowd. Photo by Deb­bie Savy / Tropix Pho­tog­ra­phy.

COM­MU­NITY SPIRIT: Com­mu­nity or­gan­i­sa­tions like the Par­ent Ac­tion Group had strong rep­re­sen­ta­tion at Satur­day's Ro­tary Street Pa­rade.

MAK­ING A STATE­MENT: Whit­sun­day Res­i­dents Against Dump­ing (WRAD) made a state­ment about the cur­rent dredge spoil de­bate with their float for the Reef Fes­ti­val's Ro­tary Street Pa­rade.

SAVE THE REEF: Nathaniel Savy, 12, Jack Opie, 12, James Her­ing, 12, and Chris Tay­lor on their Save the Reef float dur­ing the Ro­tary Street Pa­rade on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

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