Cultural dance was an important and entertaining part of the festival at 1770.
Cultural dance was an important and entertaining part of the festival at 1770. Andrew Thorpe

1770 Festival brings history to life

THE CAPTAIN Cook 1770 Festival came to a close yesterday leaving a happy and relaxed crowd wanting more.

The festival opened on Friday with a world record and a historical re-enactment of James Cook's 1770 landing at Bustard Bay.

That was followed up with the annual street parade and major prize raffle draws on Saturday, before the event was given a proper send off with live music, the popular rubber duck race and a traditional smoking ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

Organiser Sharon Hare said the prospect of wet weather may have turned some people away but she was happy with the attendance.

"We are a little bit down, but we're really happy with how it's all gone," she said.

"Given the fact that perhaps there was going to be a rain event ... we've been happy with the attendance."

A range of food stalls, live entertainment, amusement rides and arts and crafts workshops provided plenty of things for people to do.

Among the most popular stalls were the soul food offerings, henna tattoos and the therapeutic massage tent.

Mrs Hare said she was especially thankful for the support of local businesses.

"We had lots of prizes donated from local Agnes Water and 1770 businesses," she said.

"The major prizes were probably (from) Kent Barton, a local artist who donated a collector's item print, and we had a one bedroom apartment donated by Lagoon 1770 Spa and Resort, which included breakfast for two at Plantations."

Gooreng Gooreng elder Richard Johnson said the festival was an important occasion for his people.

"Our nation has been coming here since we were first invited back in 1992," he said.

"It's been a great revelation for us as well.

"Our families had been separated for a long time and we had people living in Sydney and Melbourne and other places ... over the years they've come back here for the festival so they can mix with the family, and start giving the little kids that understanding of the language.

"It's that transfer of knowledge that gives people that connection. They come here, put their foot on the ground and they can feel like they're home."



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