GET ONBOARD: The Ballina Prawn Festival mascot is encouraging everyone to come along to today’s festival in Ballina.
GET ONBOARD: The Ballina Prawn Festival mascot is encouraging everyone to come along to today’s festival in Ballina. Graham Broadhead

Ballina Prawn Festival is set to be shrimp-tacular

IT'S the Ballina Prawn Festival's second year running, and already the signature event has doubled in size, promising to be bigger and better this time around.

Last year, the festival reeled in 13,000 attendees, and organisers are optimistic they can bait up to 20,000 this year.

>> View the full program

Nadia Eliott-Burgess, executive officer for Ballina Chamber of Commerce, which organised the event, said the idea for the festival was first spawned during a council meeting discussing ways to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Las Balsas expedition last year.

The ferris wheel being set up at the Ballina Prawn Festival last night.
The ferris wheel being set up at the Ballina Prawn Festival last night. Rachael Ingram Photography

Ms Eliott-Burgess said it was too big an opportunity to have a one-off event and that Ballina had previous lacked a signature community festival.

The festival will kick off at 9am Saturday with the Ballina Fair Shopping Centre's Grand opening street parade down Kingsford Smith Drive.

The ferris wheel being set up at the Ballina Prawn Festival last night.
The ferris wheel being set up at the Ballina Prawn Festival last night. Rachael Ingram Photography

Everything from elaborate vehicle-mounted floats, to designer golf buggies, fancy scooters, pimped-up bicycles, vintage cars and wheelbarrow floats will muster at the end of Owens St at 8.30am for the parade.

From the street to the sea, fishing trawlers, local boats and a fleet of assorted water crafts will cruise down the Richmond River for the 11am Fish Co-op Boat Parade.

From the sea to the sky, the Macadamia Castle Fireworks Spectacular at 8.30pm will mark the fiery festival finale.

The map of the Ballina Prawn Festival.
The map of the Ballina Prawn Festival. Contributed

>>See a full size version of the Prawn Festival map

And what would a Prawn Festival be without some prawns?

The Ballina Fisherman's co-op prawn shelling competition will get entrants prepped for Christmas as they race to shell and consume 500g of fresh prawns for the King or Queen Prawn crown.

Aussie hillbilly pop group The Pigs will be headlining the festival's music scene, with a catchy mix of original tunes and covers on the main stage at 7pm.

Local up-and-coming musician Dan Hannaford, who will be performing at both the Falls and Mullum Music Festivals, will take to the Ballina Prawn main stage at 4pm with his mix of country-blues style music.

Setting up at the Ballina Prawn Festival
Setting up at the Ballina Prawn Festival Rachael Ingram Photography

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