Fun's back on as Gladstone Harbour Festival kicks off
LET'S get this party started.
Gladstone Harbour Festival organisers turned the fun dial to maximum on Monday, shrugging off grey skies and the disappointment of Sunday's postponed street parade.
It was all systems go last night as the carnival lit up and performers took to the main stage.
"We're thrilled that we can get up and running tonight; a lot of work goes into setting it up and a lot of people are involved," said event co-ordinator for Gladstone Festivals and Events Abi Galbraith.
"We all had our fingers and toes crossed this morning and were really hopeful.
"We were really disappointed yesterday, obviously, when things couldn't go ahead."
Ms Galbraith said dry and windy weather yesterday helped prepare the site.
"It's been quite windy and the sun has come out as well," she said.
"It's dried up quite a bit."
Organisers have laid woodchip to reduce slips but warned festival goers to tread carefully and bring a tarpaulin to sit on at music events.
"The ground in certain spots is still a bit soggy, so wear comfortable shoes and definitely no high heels," Ms Galbraith said.
Monday's festival program was planned to go ahead unchanged, with rides, food and novelties at the marina plaza and The Corporates on the main stage from 6.30pm.
A decision on whether the parade will go ahead on Friday is pending, with organisers waiting to hear from participants.
SPIRITS were high at the Gladstone Marina on Monday, where festival-goers enjoyed the first night of the Gladstone Harbour Festival Mardi Gras.
By early afternoon dozens of young people were waiting for rides to open.
Eighteen-year-old Mitchell McGann was excited that rain subsided on Monday, allowing the festival to begin so he could enjoy browsing the sideshow stalls.
Fifteen-year-old Jasmine Zeller admitted a penchant for hot dogs made the Festival Mardi Gras a must-see for both herself and her dad.
"I also love going on big scary rides," she said.
Mia Zeller, 17, said she liked to keep track of the new showbags that appeared every year.
"Also, it's one of the only times teenagers our age can run around doing their own thing," she said.
Natalie Basargin, 15, was excited to be out with her friends Leonie Morris, Sam Dopson and Jason Cleere, all 15.
"It's great because it brings us all together - it's like a big family outing, with best friends," she said.
Ride owners and stallholders were relieved.
By early evening the festival grounds were ringing with the laughter of hundreds of revellers.
"People are turning up, having fun winning a prize for themselves or their partner," said Damian Smoothy, who manned a shooting gallery last night.
The best part of his job is the happy people.
"All I really want is to see those smiles."
Mark Forman runs a soft- serve ice cream van. He said the day lost to business yesterday was no big deal.
"It's a seven-day festival, so if you lose a couple of days you're still going to earn a quid," he said.
- 6-10.30pm: Festival Mardi Gras. Lots of fun rides, food and novelties at the Marina Plaza.
- 6.30pm: GLNG and Zinc's Talent Quest and Battle of the Bands. Local talent will be on show live on the Marina stage.
- 6.30-9.30pm: Live entertainment at the food court.