Stars dazzle at Sunshine Festival

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian

The Geraldton foreshore was a hive of activity last Sunday for the 59th annual Sunshine Festival.

The week-long festival features a smorgasbord of family-friendly events and activities, with something to entertain everyone.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn officially opened the festival, praising the hard work and dedication of all volunteers.

Kathy Councillor delivered a touching welcome to country before musicians and dancers entertained the large crowd at the Stow Gardens.

Committee chairman Ian Fisher said the festival was a success, with around 3500 people attending.

“It was a bigger and better festival than last year,” he said.

“It was really good, a great turn-out, the weather was fantastic.

“We’re looking at doing something reasonably big for next year.”

The Youth Precinct was taken over by wagging tails and panting pooches during the pet parade, with many owners and pets dressed in matching outfits.

However the parade wasn’t just for dogs, with a lamb covered in colourful stars stealing the show.

The Iluka Festival Parade was once again a huge hit with the crowd, with thousands gathering along Foreshore Drive to catch a glimpse of the spectacular floats.

More than 20 community groups and organisations took part in the parade, covering cars, roller skates and motorised shopping trolleys in a storm of rainbow decorations.

A large crowd gathered at the Hard Pressed station, where a road roller was used to print large works of art from larger-than-life woodcuts.

Nearly 20 designs were printed in this unusual way, which was first trialled at last year’s Sunshine Festival.

Local printmaker and Hard Pressed co-ordinator Lizzy Robinson said the pressure was high.

“I can really feel the public glare,” she said.

“This is on a much bigger scale and it’s my responsibility to get as good a quality print as the circumstances allow.

“It’s totally nerve-racking, exhilarating and amazing.”

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