Sassy seafood premiere at Tin Can Bay Festival

Yvonne Jensen is the creator behind the new Seafood Festival mascot and characters

Yvonne Jensen is the creator behind the new Seafood Festival mascot and characters

On top of the mullet throwing and prawn eating competitions, seafood and crumbed fish,  visitors to the Tin Can Bay Seafood Festival will be delighted with the new “fishy” additions.

A purpose-built prawn mascot and friends! Made right here on the coast.

It all started when one of the festival organisers, Bec Reibel, asked her friend Yvonne Jensen to build a prawn mascot.

They took it to the Chamber of Commerce and Yvonne was asked to create more, and then more characters.

“I really want it to be different for our festival. So far I’ve made another prawn, crab, octopus and of course a dolphin. I am now working on a seahorse, a fish and a green prawn.”

Said Bec, “We call them the sexy prawns because you wear them like a tight dress – one an orange cooked prawn and the other is the green prawn.”

Yvonne runs up wedding and formal dresses, kids costumes and even her own line of baby wear, “I make whatever people want.”

But Bec’s request was a challenge. Yvonne has created the whole thing from scratch – even designing her own pattern. “Everything is hand stitched – they are built of foam so it’s a big, big job.

“What would take one month each normally – I have pumped out one a week.”

This was in between sewing two, possibly three, wedding outfits, and catering for her tribe.

“I’ve got four kids, running our LED solar business as well, going to bed at 1 or 2am or more – my house is like a bomb hit it!”

Each character is sponsored by a local business, you can post a photo with a mascot and hashtag each one with the business name on Facebook.

The names of each mascot were drawn from suggestions by Tin Can Bay School students – with the top four names winning helicopter joy rides on the day.

Make sure you see them at the festival – there’s free entry, pony and camel rides, amusement rides, Dan and Steph, Matt Golinski, live stage entertainment, beer tent and plenty of food, market stalls and a Hot Rod Harley Show. It’s all on 9am to 4pm, September 24, at the Tin Can Bay Foreshore.

And as for Yvonne, she may have found a new calling – “These first ever, one-of-a-kind mascots had no profit on it, but I’m now looking at making them as my own business.

“Who knows we may have a factory going in Tin Can Bay!”  If you need a mascot, see  Yvonne on the day or call 0408 645369.

Remember the Charity Seafood Festival Dinner on September 10 – raising funds for youth sport on the coast. With the Black and White theme (and you can order a meat platter!) look out for fabulous auctions and prizes – including a behind-the-scenes experience and meal at EAT at Dan and Stephs! Purchase tickets from the Country Club.

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