Key details are emerging about the latest festival added to Western Australia’s events calendar — Geraldton’s Shore Leave — after it was given the green light on Friday for a three-year run. Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley visited Geraldton on Friday to announce a $300,000 backing from the State Government for a festival he said would “signal to the rest of Australia the Mid West is now a premier destination”. “It’s long overdue that we have a showcase event that underscores the great cultural and economic value that the Mid West brings to Western Australia,” he said. Expected to draw thousands of visitors to Geraldton, the event, which runs from May 6-9 will deliver a $1.5m boost to the local economy based on modelling by the Mid West Development Commission. Tourism Geraldton Midwest chair Matt Rutter was tight-lipped on what the festival would contain, instead saying the full details would emerge on March 9 when tickets went on sale. “All we can say now is that the event is going to capture the key parts of who we are as Geraldton,” Mr Rutter said, adding it would focus on seafood, history, local culture and adventure offerings. “One of the heroes of this festival will be our second-to-none food produce. “We’re really excited. The time is right for Geraldton to stamp its place in the tourism market.” Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said the festival had been in the pipeline for a number of years and he was thrilled to see it come together. He said the four-day event would focus on local foods and embrace a maritime and coastal theme including seafood markets, a long-table Abrolhos Islands dining experience, walking tours, and family-friendly activities. “This event will really shine a light on our unique region and we wish event organisers all the best in seeing this come to fruition,” he said. Festival events will be held across Geraldton and further afield in towns across the Mid West, aiming to build up the tourism reputation of the region. State funding for the event joins sponsorship from the City of Greater Geraldton, Mid West Ports Authority and the Geraldton Fishermen’s Co-operative. More information about the festival can be found at the official webpage.