MEETING THE MASCOT: The Ballina Prawn Festival mascot made its first appearance at the festival launch, to be greeted by festival sponsors (from left) Ballina Fishermen’s Co-op’s Alister Robertson and Phil Hilliard, Bunnings’ Brett Jones, and Tony Gilding from the Macadamia Castle.
MEETING THE MASCOT: The Ballina Prawn Festival mascot made its first appearance at the festival launch, to be greeted by festival sponsors (from left) Ballina Fishermen’s Co-op’s Alister Robertson and Phil Hilliard, Bunnings’ Brett Jones, and Tony Gilding from the Macadamia Castle. Graham Broadhead

Ballina's Prawn Festival will be fun and quirky

THE November 16 Ballina Prawn Festival aims to have a "fun and quirky" culture, according to organiser Nadia Eliott-Burgess.

The inaugural festival was officially launched last Friday night at Wollongbar TAFE's Nightcap restaurant.

To kick off the fun and quirkiness, the festival's mascot made its first appearance.

The festival prawn is yet to have a name, but organisers are working on that.

The event will be held at Ballina's Missingham Park from 11am to about 9pm.

It will start with a parade along the riverfront from the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum to the festival site, starting at 11am.

At the same time, a flotilla of vessels will sail along the Richmond River. Ms Eliott-Burgess, from the Ballina Chamber of Commerce, said: "You won't go for a moment from 11am to 9pm without having something to do."

There will be 40-50 market stalls, a raft-building competition for teams of two, another Rotary duck race, a cook-off, prawn-shelling competition and Australia's largest travelling Ferris wheel.

The Macadamia Castle train will be shuttling festival-goers to the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum throughout the day - the festival is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the Las Balsas raft expedition to Ballina in 1973.

The fireworks display from Missingham Bridge will be the festival finale, and Ms Eliott-Burgess says it will be "like no other seen in Ballina". She thanked the Federal Government and Ballina Shire Council for providing funds for the event, as well as sponsors, the Ballina Fishermen's Co-op, Macadamia Castle and Bunnings.


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