Locals rally to revive Karuah Oyster and Timber Festival

The new Karuah Oyster and Timber Festival Committee are ready to get things moving. (L-R) Steve Cole, Lindsay Johnson, Kelly Johnson, Dean Cole, Dawn Lyall, Veronica Howarth and Tim Howarth.

VOLUNTEERS united from across Karuah to spearhead the revival of the Karuah Oyster and Timber Festival (KOTF), holding an AGM on Wednesday 1 May at Karuah RSL.

After a few years where the event was adversely affected by COVID and inclement weather, Karuah is banding together to again unite its two quintessentially Australian local industries, and reignite the Karuah Oyster and Timber Festival for 2024.

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This year’s new crew seek to expand on 2023’s qualified success by expanding the Committee and capitalising on the talents of those willing to pitch in.

“We are really excited to see so many people coming to meetings and giving their voice and time to the festival,” newly elected Festival President Kelly Johnson told NOTA.

“The Karuah Oyster and Timber Festival has meant a lot to the community, and after some unfortunate years affected by COVID and QX, we are endeavouring to come back better than ever.”

QX, according to the NSW Department of Primary Industries, is a disease that affects Sydney Rock Oysters, which has impacted a number of estuaries in the state.

In record time, the Executive Committee was formally voted in, including several roles that the new President was happy to see finally filled after years of vacancy.

A host of basic organisational issues now need to be sorted, and will be so in due course, as the sub-committees of further volunteers will be mobilised to sort issues including road closures, park usage, insurance, and emergency services.

As the Festival’s name suggests, the two star attractions of the show will be the oysters and the timber wood chop shows, most of which, happily, have already been confirmed by relevant representatives at the meeting.

Set for October, the Festival will feature accredited axemen’s events that count toward overall rankings across the state, as well as opportunities to support Karuah’s historic local oyster industry through testing and sales.

“We are incredibly optimistic that with such a fantastic team of volunteers, we will be able to hold an amazing festival this year,” Kelly added.

“Communication will increase over the next few months as we hit the ground running to get things underway, ensuring that we are set to succeed in October.”

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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