THOUSANDS of people flocked to Airlie Beach, on the weekend, for one of the region’s biggest – and longest running – events.
The Great Barrier Reef Festival did not disappoint again this year, with all the favourites returning, as well as some new items and, of course, a constant schedule of live music and entertainment for adults and children.
Now in its 21st year, the festival is one of the region’s most enduring and well respected events, attracting local residents eager to celebrate living in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, as well as thousands of visitors to the region.
The family-friendly event is orchestrated by a team of around 60 volunteers and supported by very many local businesses, who understand the power of events such as this to bring people to the Whitsundays.
Festival director Margie Murphy said there were an estimated 10,000+ attendees over the four days, with more than 40 per cent of attendees from outside the Whitsundays, including an estimated 15 per cent international visitors.
“It’s been our 21st year and it’s been an absolutely amazing weekend of events,” she said.
“We’ve had over 10,000 attendees throughout the four days, the town’s been pumping, and we couldn’t be happier with how it’s all gone.
“Of course, none of this would have been possible without our team of volunteers and the support of our major sponsors like Cruise Whitsundays.
“We’ve also had incredible involvement from high standard tourism operators and Master Reef Guides – not just from the Whitsundays but the length of the Great Barrier Reef.
“And, last but not least, a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who’s come out to enjoy these events and literally be a part of something great.”
The festival injected over $1.5m into the Whitsundays economy.
For more GBRF photos see page 19 of this newspaper and also the WN website www.whitsundaynews.net.au