Whit­sun­days’ big­gest cit­i­zen­ship cer­e­mony

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

We’ve had noth­ing but won­der­ful feed­back from all around town... — Kevin Collins

THERE were co­pi­ous amounts of food, plenty to drink and an as­sort­ment of en­ter­tain­ment at the Great Aus­tralian Bites fes­ti­val last Thurs­day.

It was clear many Whit­sun­day res­i­dents are proud to be Aus­tralian, sport­ing Aus­tralia Day hats, cloth­ing and sun­glasses all while wav­ing the Aus­tralian flag.

Deputy mayor John Collins opened the fes­ti­val, which brought 2200 peo­ple through the gates – a huge jump from last year where 800 peo­ple were in at­ten­dance.

MC Des O’Neill brought an ex­tra bit of char­ac­ter to the day. And the event wasn’t short of en­ter­tain­ment, with per­for­mances from Meryn Hall, Breeze Duo, Is­land Rhythm, The Fox and the Proser­pine Cit­i­zens Band.

Keep­ing guests from go­ing hun­gry and thirsty were a va­ri­ety of lo­cal busi­nesses which set up stalls along the Airlie Beach fore­shore.

But it was the live cook­ing demon­stra­tions from Fish D’Vine chefs Rebecca Clark and Kevin Collins and Airlie Beach Ho­tel chef Bradley Martin that caught the at­ten­tion of fes­ti­val-go­ers.

Kevin Collins said he was more than happy with how the day un­folded, say­ing it was “ab­so­lutely great”.

“All the restau­rants (on the fore­shore) sold out, which was per­fect,” he said.

“It’s hard to say we could have had a bet­ter day than what we did.

“We’ve had noth­ing but won­der­ful feed­back from all around town... and I think it was prob­a­bly one of the most suc­cess­ful food fes­ti­vals we’ve had.”

Mr Collins said with the event held at the same time as the Aus­tralia Day Awards and the Cit­i­zen­ship Cer­e­mony, the turnout was “un­prece­dented”.

“I can’t wait for next year,” he said.

A whop­ping 53 peo­ple be­came Aus­tralian cit­i­zens, with 51 re­ceiv­ing their cit­i­zen­ship doc­u­ments at the event.

And with the Aus­tralia Day awards be­ing held on the same day, proud faces filled the town.


NEW AD­DI­TIONS: The Whit­sun­days’ new Aus­tralian cit­i­zens pose for a group photo at Fairy Tree Park on Aus­tralia Day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.