Karuah By Night was a huge success for the town’s reinvigoration

Musician/singer Hamish McClure provided entertainment throughout the evening.

LIGHTS, music, food and family fun filled the spectacular autumn evening at ‘Karuah By Night’, held at Longworth Park on Saturday, 15 April.

Funded by the NSW Government’s Reconnecting Regional NSW Grant, ‘Karuah By Night’ was an initiative of Port Stephens Council, held to reinvigorate Karuah in the wake of the last few years of COVID restrictions.

Acknowledgement of country was complemented by the Midnight Dreaming Dancers, a group of young Aboriginal dancers under the tutelage of local artist and dancer Renae Lamb, out of Newcastle.

Music throughout the night was provided by musician/singer Hamish McClure, from Gloucester, and musician/singer Rochelle Rigby, from Medowie, in her first public appearance.

Local rock covers band Brewhaha delivered many beloved classics, including Midnight Oil hits.

As dusk fell, the neon installations and special water lights show began, with the Karuah River backdrop perfect for the nautical/undersea theme.

Other highlights of the night were the stilt-walking ladies, and the kaleidoscopic neon face-painting for the kids in the Neon Tunnel of Fun.

“It was an unbelievable night, with more people turning up than anyone could have expected,” said local Marion Brown.

“Some people even think this was bigger than the old Karuah Oyster Festival.”

“It’s difficult to say what was shining more brightly on the night – the light show or the smiles on everyone’s faces,” Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington, who also attended, told NOTA.

“I loved seeing the Karuah community shining in every possible way.”

In fact, so many people enjoyed the dream-like weather that most of the food trucks, as well as the local IGA and some restaurants actually sold out of food and beverages, too.

Such an overwhelming attendance is what the Reconnecting Regional Grant aims for, and local businesses have vowed to be even better prepared in future.

Karuah By Night was a welcome event after COVID shut down the Oyster Festival, and many visitors, locals, and businesses, affirmed that they would like to see this become a regular event.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

Leave a Reply