Gladstone Harbour Festival: What's on and when

IF you're keen to plan your week around the Gladstone Harbour Festival, here's a rundown of what is on each day.

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THURSDAY, APRIL 2:

The Gladstone Ports Corporation's Family Fun Night heads festivities today, featuring the crowning of festival queens, LalaLoopsy, Curtis the Turtle, The Octonauts and Mr Bump.

It will all be happening on the marina main stage from 6.30pm, with fireworks at about 8.10pm.

Don Costa will perform on the food court stage from 6-10pm, and the rides and sideshow alley will be open from 6-10pm.

GOOD FRIDAY, APRIL 3:

Good Friday is one of the biggest days of the festival, and there's plenty happening.

The Harbour Festival Fun Run starts at 7am, with registration from 6.15am.

There will be a 3km and 10km route from East Shores to the marina, taking in Spinnaker Park on the longer route.

The Marina Markets are on from 8am-7pm at the main festival site.

The Blessing and Dressing of the Fleet starts at 10am, with boats travelling along a course in Auckland Creek.

The event features an assembly and ceremonial sail past of fishing, sailing, pleasure and speed boats, which was a mainstay of the festival until falling from favour in the mid-1990s.

The best viewing spots for the event are East Shores and Spinnaker Park.

Kids and big kids alike got a thrill out of rides at the Gladstone Harbour Festival.
Kids and big kids alike got a thrill out of rides at the Gladstone Harbour Festival.

The Kids' Zone Marquee will be open from 10am-3pm next to the food court.

Kids can drop in to participate in lantern making. 

Rides and sideshow alley will be open from 10am-10pm.

The Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race starts in Redcliffe Point, with the first yachts expected to be sighted entering Gladstone Harbour around 7.30am on Saturday.

The Gladstone Harbour Festival Street Parade gets underway at 6pm, with this year's theme being Lanterns and Lights.

The parade will start on Bramston St next to the Gladstone Region Art Gallery and Museum, travelling along Goondoon St before turning left into Lord St and then right to parade across the Marina Bridge.

The parade will then travel along Bryan Jordan Dr, finishing at the Mission to Seafarers building.

There's plenty of entertainment throughout the day on the food court stage. Entertainment includes:

  • 10am: The Bucketseats
  • 11am: Magic Glen
  • 11.30am: The Bucketseats
  • 1pm: Disco Fever Show
  • 1.30pm: The Bucketseats
  • 3pm: Magic Glen
  • 4pm: Silly Circus Show
  • 4.30pm: Don Costa
  • 7pm: Talent quest winner
  • 7.30pm: Jackson Dunn

Fantastic Friday Night kicks off on the marina main stage at 6.30pm, with the Disco Fever Show, Don Costa and The Australian Kylie Show, featuring Kylie Minogue's greatest hits from the past three decades.

There will be fireworks at 9pm.

SATURDAY, APRIL 4:

The first yachts in the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race are expected to start entering Gladstone Harbour from 7.30am, with the bulk of the fleet finishing late Saturday and into the early hours of Sunday.

The much-anticipated Great Raft Race is a highlight of the harbour festival, and will kick off at the Goondoon St boat ramp at 9.30am.

The Marina Markets are on from 8am to 1pm.

There are plenty of free craft activities on offer in the kids' activity zone from 10am to 3pm.

Make your own Mexican basket is on at 10am, followed by Rain sticks from South America at 11am, Make your own Mexican basket at noon, and Japanese flying carp at 1pm.

Phone 4972 5111 to book or drop into the harbour festival office on site to register.

Rides and sideshow alley will be open from 10am-10pm, with two for one rides from 10am to 2pm.

A jetpack display will be held at noon and 5.30pm, with the best viewing from Spinnaker Park and behind the markets.

There'll be cuteness galore at the Teddy Bear's Picnic on the food court stage from 2pm.

There are prizes for the largest bear, smallest bear, most festive bear, most loved bear and oldest bear.

Entertainment on the food court stage includes:

  • 10am: Don Costa
  • Noon: Magic Glen
  • 1pm: Disco Fever Show
  • 1.30pm: Magic Glen
  • 4pm: Don Costa
  • 7pm: Swim
  • 7.30pm: Jackson Dunn

Sensational Saturday Night kicks off at 6.30pm on the main stage, with the Silly Circus Show, Don Costa and The Australian INXS Show, which reproduces the live spectacle INXS was famous for.

There will be fireworks at 9pm.

Deb Bowen-Saunders during the Bush Poets' Breakfast at the Gladstone Harbour Festival.
Deb Bowen-Saunders during the Bush Poets' Breakfast at the Gladstone Harbour Festival. Luka Kauzlaric

SUNDAY, APRIL 5:

Sunday starts with the Bush Poet's Morning Tea at the food court stage at the marina.

The morning tea, from 9-11am, is $10 per person.

Kids in the Kitchen will feature in the Kids' Activity Zone today.

Participants can learn to make tiramisu at 10am, colourful pasta at 11am, sushi at noon, tiramisu at 1pm and colourful pasta at 2pm.

Phone 4972 5111 to book or drop into the harbour festival office on site to register.

Rides and sideshow alley will be open from 10am-10pm, with two for one rides from 10am-2pm.

There will be a jetpack display at 10am and 1pm, with the best viewing from Spinnaker Park and behind the markets.

Entertainment on the food court stage includes:

  • 11am: The Magic Glen Show
  • Noon: Don Costa
  • 2.30pm: Silly Circus Show
  • 3pm: The Magic Glen Show
  • 4pm: The Bucketseats
  • 7pm: Don Costa

On the marina main stage the entertainment starts at 6.30pm, with the Disco Fever Show, Swim, and Dan Hamill and band, followed by fireworks at 9.50pm.

Hamill fuses contemporary chart toppers with the sounds of Motown and swing.

From Michael Jackson to Coldplay, Adele to Pharrell, you won't be able to leave the dance floor once he takes the stage.



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