Jazz festival kicks off to busy start| Photos, video

From early on Friday evening the Merimbula Jazz Festival was well underway with venues busy, the Lakeview Hotel having to turn away diners because of the crowds and standing room only in the Auditorium at Club Sapphire for the Navy Band.

On Saturday morning the parade was said to be one of the best with a good turn out of marching bands, vintage cars, the Merimbula Water Dragons boat complete with paddlers and musicians and RFS fire trucks. At the head of the parade the mayor Kristy McBain rode in the vintage fire truck driven by Col Hazel.

In officially opening the festival, Cr McBain said it was getting bigger and better every year and thanked the jazz festival committee president Kevin Walsh, program coordinator Paul Dion, committee members, all the volunteers involved and the sponsors for their work in making the festival such a success.

"And to the festival goers I want to say thank you. Your hard earned dollars spent in this place means the world to us," Cr Kristy McBain said.

Musicians gathered by the lakeside for the traditional session at the end of the parade.

With the closure of part of Market Street the street music continued into the afternoon with local musicians supplying plenty of good vibes. The centre of town was kept busy throughout the afternoon as people wandered into shops, enjoyed lunch or coffees and listened to the music.