The Geraldton foreshore and Fisherman’s Wharf were buzzing with activity last weekend when the Mid West’s newest festival returned for its second year. Running for five days and blessed with glorious weather, Shore Leave gave locals and tourists the chance to enjoy some of the region’s finest cuisine, live entertainment and luxury experiences. Deputy Premier Roger Cook officially opened the festival at an event on Wednesday which featured a welcome to country by Derek Councillor and a stirring performance by the Wilinu Dreaming Dancers. About 200 lovers of fine dining made the trip to the Abrolhos Islands for the festival’s signature long-table lunch on Thursday, while the Midwest Paddock to Plate and Foreshore Feast events served up some of the best of local cuisine on Geraldton’s stunning foreshore. The Sustainable Futures panel — Shore Leave’s newest event — gave guests the chance to quiz experts on how the community and industry can work together to protect the Mid West’s valuable natural resources. For the more adventurous in the crowd, the dragon boat regatta was an opportunity to take to the water for the chance to be crowned the dragon boat champions of 2022. Back of boat sales, cooking demonstrations from renowned chefs and a science-meets-Indigenous star-gazing documentary under a special dome were other highlights. The festival ended with a showcase of some of the best musical talent in the Mid West at the event’s pop-headquarters named The Helm. Estimates before the 2022 event claimed more than 2000 people would be visiting for the festival this time around, and that over three years it would inject $2.7 million into the local economy.