Beachport festival success

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Beachport festival success

THE second Beachport Crayfish Festival on Saturday was a runaway success with a capacity crowd enjoying the day’s activities.

In near perfect weather, 2500 guests descended on Beachport’s Centennial Park to celebrate everything to do with the town’s most important crustacean, the southern rock lobster.

Unlike the first Beachport Crayfish Festival in 2022, the sole responsibility for staging the latest event was taken by the Beachport District Development Association.

Around 2000 tickets had been purchased online before the gates had opened, with the remaining 500 being sold by mid-afternoon.

A study into the economic benefits of the festival is currently being undertaken.

However, the impact appears significant with almost all short-term holiday rentals and caravan parks being fully booked and local traders reporting brisk business over the weekend.

Guests came from far and wide with only 33% of tickets purchased coming from the local 5280 Millicent/Beachport postcode, whereas 43% came from elsewhere in South Australia, and 24% travelled from interstate.

Gates opened at 10am with guests being greeted with market stalls selling all sorts of handicrafts on Somerville Street outside the ticketed event.

Once inside the gate, guests could purchase food and beverages from any of the 33 vendors, with many reporting a bumper day of sales.

While crayfish dishes were available from a variety of stalls throughout the venue, the freshly cooked half crays from Beachport’s Lobster Pot were most highly demanded, with huge line-ups appearing before midday and carrying on until 2pm.

Reece Sutherland from the Lobster Pot stated that the lunchtime rush for half lobsters had them under the pump.

“I couldn’t be more grateful to the locals who saw how much pressure we were under and jumped in behind the counter to help,” Mr Sutherland said.

“There was a couple of peak times during the day where customers had to wait for more freshly cooked lobster to arrive from our facility, but for the most part everyone was very understanding, respectful, and certainly appreciative when more crays came.”

The free kids’ zone was a hit with a giant inflatable slide, go-karts and mini-golf proving popular.

A deckie competition comprising of a tug-of-war and cray pot building competition was held in the afternoon.

Hilariously, the local deckhands were completely outclassed, with some visitors to town taking the prize.

A great line up of local musicians provided the day’s entertainment, including Jason Baker, The Anomalies, Leah Briggs with the Andrew Clermont’s Supper Club, and Christy and Jason Wallace.

Hatherleigh farmer Trevor Rayson undertook the MC duties with his customary aplomb.

Local cover band Suburban Henry had the crowd dancing at the end of the night, with the festivities ending at 10pm.

There was significant sponsorship from the public and private sectors including a $3000 grant from Wattle Range Council.

The organising committee will review the balance sheet and all other aspects of the event and then make a decision about a third Beachport Crayfish Festival.

IN THE SUMMERTIME: Near-perfect weather brought a crowd of 2500 to the second Beachport Crayfish Festival on Saturday. Pic: Mills Media Productions/Liam Mills

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