A Tin Can Bay calendar staple for many years, the Seafood Festival has been a draw card each September with the lure of seafood culinary delights.
Unfortunately this year’s event has been cancelled.
Newly-elected Tin Can Bay Chamber of Commerce and Tourism President, Jess Milne, expressed deep disappointment that this year’s event wasn’t going ahead.
“I took on the role with great gusto to organise the event, however, after reviewing the facts and figures, it was evident that a successful festival was not possible due to an unworkable budget and four-month time frame.”
Jess acknowledged the public upset at the situation, “Chamber members have been through an emotional rollercoaster and this decision was not easy to make.”
The Seafood Festival originally grew from a double flood event in the early 1990s that caused extensive seagrass die-off, leading to a collapse of the marine biodiversity in the Sandy Straits.
Joe McLeod, with the backing of other local fisherman, set out to hold an educational event to raise awareness on the marine environment in 1993.
The Tin Can Bay Seafood and Leisure Festival, organised by the newly formed Cooloola Fisherman’s Festival Association, showcased numerous environmental organisations and departments while incorporating a fun day out for families.
“The best way to engage the community in marine awareness was to provide a smorgasbord of seafood then show where it comes from,” Joe reminisced.
“Monies raised from the day helped seed fund seagrass monitoring and research.”
The festival was held annually until 1998 and was revived again in 2000 by the Tin Can Bay Chamber of Commerce as it had become a popular attraction.
Jess recounts the saying, “all good things come to an end” but feels, “this leaves room for greater things to happen.”
“We are looking at festival ideas for next year and are open to suggestions and ideas. Forward any input via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a positive note, the Charity Dinner is on August 18 from 6.30pm at the Cooloola Coast Community Complex.
The evening promises to be memorable as this year’s theme is glitzy, ‘Hollywood Glam’ and will raise money towards Sporting Kids. Cost is only $55 per head.
Save the date, as awesome prizes have already been donated and Graeme Jensen will perform live.