Seafood Festival a hit with crowds
By ZOE SINCLAIRzoe@gladstoneobserver.com.au
A COUPLE of tonnes of seafood do not go far among a few friends, a long Sunday and a few more drinks.
From 10am the crowds started rolling in to the Gladstone Marina and from then on the stall holders at the Gladstone Area Water Board's Seafood Festival barely paused for a breath as they shovelled more prawns into vast ice trays for the public.
While most were content to peel a few prawns in between a glass of verdello or similar from wine stalls, some took to the stage in the prawn peeling competitions.
It was messy ? heads were ripped off and there was controversy over prawn guts ? but The Observer's editor Mat Ovenden walked away with a win in the one handed raw prawn peeling competition.
Onlookers Jean Morgan and friends thought some of the seafood festival's characters were a riot and loved the men's fashion parade.
Mrs Morgan has been coming to The Gladstone Area Water Board's Seafood Festival since it's began but rated this year's as the best.
'The food and atmosphere and entertainment and meeting up with friends and this is the best location,'' Mrs Morgan said.
It would seem the region agreed with her, and local seafood stalls and staff such as the Gladstone Fish Markets' proprietor Simon Whittingham couldn't have been happier.
'It's huge, bloody sensational,' Mr Whittingham said.
"We'll be here every single year. It's important to deliver quality products.'
Seafood retailers Gladstone Fish Markets and Urangan Fisheries will be well supported by locals if the crowds, estimated at 6,000, were any indication.