THE Port Welshpool Prom Coast Summer Festival was a resounding success with crowds taking advantage of great summer weather in which to take part in the many activities held during the three-day festival.
Held in various locations around Port Welshpool, Welshpool and Toora, the three days provided plenty of action and activities for the whole family such as the Working Dog demonstrations at Beloka Kelpie Stud, the Toora Art Festival, displays at the Port Welshpool Maritime Museum, a market at Port Welshpool and the Sea Days Festival at Port Welshpool.
The extreme heat on the first day gave way to more pleasant weather on Saturday and Sunday.
In total, around 150 people visited Beloka Kelpie Stud during the festival to see the amazing talents of Paul Macphail’s working dogs.
The action at Port Welshpool centred mainly around and in the old Port Welshpool Marine Terminal. Andrew Wegener of The Basin brought along his interactive display of non-poisonous snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs and minibeasts, informing children about how these animals eat and survive.
Water was, of course, a major feature of the festival. The Coast Guard set up an interactive mini ‘Corner Inlet’ on dry land, complete with water. June Rawlings and Fish Care Victoria volunteers co-ordinated and manned the ‘Come and Try Fishing’ experience for children. This was very successful with many young newcomers to fishing learning how to bait up and having success in actually catching fish.
Alpine Country Morwell donated 120 showbags containing fishing gear and many businesses, both local and from elsewhere provided further showbags with additional goodies for the kids.
The filleting and cooking demonstrations by local fisherman and chef Tony Pinzone were very well received.
The crowds thoroughly enjoyed the live music on Sunday with performances by ‘Unusual Suspects,’ Jose Garcia, Pete Snell and Meg Smallwood’s duo ‘Pegs,’ harpist Barbara Jeffries and Frances Noble.
Rangers from Parks Victoria were on hand to lead children in guided walks including the Seagrass Ramble where children used dipnets to contain some of the many small sea creatures to be found in the shallow waters of Corner Inlet.
Not only could children take part in these guided adventures, but information was available on the activities and features of the three park: Corner Inlet Marine and Coastal Park which is a fully protected area where everyone is welcome to experience nature, but not disturb it nor fish in it; Corner Inlet Marine National Park and Nooramunga Marine and Coastal Park are both available for recreational use.
The importance of seagrass was also explained to the children, as it is a vital habitat for small creatures which are of great importance in the food chain. It is also a nursery area for the juveniles of many species as it provides some protection from predators. Without the seagrass, the rangers explained, there would still be life in these waters, but there would not be the great diversity that these seagrass meadows provide.
The Touch and Feel tanks were a great hit with the children, as they could hold and closely inspect small sea creatures such as starfish, crabs and molluscs.
The Show ‘n’ Shine event was held on the Saturday at the Arthur Sutherland Recreation Reserve in Welshpool. Organised by the Reserve’s committee and the Prom Coast Summer Festival committee, the event was a great success with over 60 entries and great interest was shown by the public from whom many ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ were heard in admiration of the immaculately kept hot rods, street machines, bikes, restored and vintage vehicles, caravans, motorhomes and trucks.
There were also categories for chrome bumper bars, vehicle engines, interiors and paint jobs.
Best Entry of the show went to Ben Watt; Bike of the show to Neil Rawson, Best Hot Rod to Dave Parmenter, Best Street Machine to Cathy Parmenter, Best Commercial Ute/Van to Peter Lindhe, Best Original Vehicle Over 10 Years to Lindsay McKenzie; Best Original Restored Aussie Car to Max Grigg; Best Original Restored Car to tony Seychell; Best Original Restored Bike to Darren Young; Best Paint Job to Ben Watt; Best Engine Bay to Wayne Rawson, Best Interior to Cathy Parmenter; Special Interest Vehicle to Alan Andrews; Best Chrome Bump Era Vehicle to Ben Watt; Best Vintage Vehicle to Neil Hiho; Best Truck Up To 10 Years to Storr Transport; Best Truck over 10 Years to Brendon and Colleen Beer. Entrants Choice went to Storr Transport and Spectators Choice was won by Brendon and Colleen Beer.
The organisers wish to thank the wonderful team of committee members and other volunteers who put in so much time and effort to make the festival possible.
Also very much appreciated is free bus services donated by Moon’s Buslines, which provided a safe and convenient link between locations. Thanks also goes to the bus drivers who gave freely of their time.
Organisers are also very grateful to the performers who entertained on Sunday – also giving freely of their time and talents.
A big thank you also goes out from the organisers to the Shire of South Gippsland for their support and to Peter Stoitse Transport who provided the stage and other assistance in the setting up of equipment and to the Coast Guard for their hard work in setting up and manning displays and the barbecue.
“It is impossible to thank everyone who gave of their time and talents as there were so many people and organisations both local and from further afield such as Warragul and Wonthaggi who all helped to make the festival such a success,” said organiser Sharon Demaria.
“I take my hat off to the whole community and all the volunteers as this event couldn’t have taken place without them,” Sharon said.