In its tenth year, the Wildside Festival at Hawks Nest was perhaps it’s most successful yet.
For a start, the weather on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday was absolutely perfect with balmy temperatures, cloudless skies and very little wind.
Elsa Jones’ Golf on the Wildside on Friday was very well attended with 67 players and $1,350 was raised to go to the Hawks Nest/Tea Gardens Pre-School.
On Friday evening Christian Patteson had nearly 40 spotlighting walkers who were all thrilled that he was able to find a koala for them.
Saturday saw stalls and activities all around the Hawks Nest Community Hall.
All stalls reported good sales and many visitors.
The Lionesses, Red Cross Ladies and Newcastle Native Plant Society had excellent sales.
Lee Anderson’s face painting, Katrina Gray’s NPWS stall, the RFS fire engine, Leigh Allen’s kids craft stall and, of course, the Big Koala had droves of children supporters all day long.
The Arts and Crafts, Visitor Information Centre stalls and Great Lakes Council (GLC) Isabelle Strachan’s water catchment display had lots of interest.
The talks in the Old Library about koalas, “What weed is that?” and wildlife rescue were well attended. NATF’s Jill Dean’s baby possum and squirrel glider feeding was the hit of the day with small children and their parents.
GLC Terry Inkson’s weed identification walk (8), Christian Patteson’s Koala spotting walk (23) where a baby koala was seen and Jill Madden’s Michael Rowe Memorial Wildflower walk (27) all had great participation.
There were good audiences for the musical entertainment in the park by Myall Coast Ukestra, Bulahdelah’s St Josephs School choir and the Tea Gardens School and Community Band.
On Sunday 19 people went on Anne Haskew’s Swan Bay Bush Tucker and Wildflower walk, 11 went on Lazy Paddles free kayak tour and 12 were at the Bushcare Major Day Out.
Tickets for a “Myall Coast News Lucky Door Prize” were given to all children who participated in activities over the weekend.
At the drawing, the prize of a family pass to the Western Plains Zoo, donated by the Myall Coast News, was won by Monica Moore from St Josephs School.
The raffle of a painting donated by Gail Morphett was won by Warren Gooley, General Manager of the Tea Gardens Country Club.
This raffle is the main source of income to run the festival as all activities are free and stallholders aren’t asked for rent.
The photo competition winners were: Junior Fauna – Harry Clemson, Junior Flora – Ales Zib-Poole, Open Fauna – Irene Carson and Open Flora – Sharon Taylor. Congratulations to all the winners.