Merimbula Jazz Festival hits all the right notes

Jazz festival organisers have been delighted with the feedback received so far for the event with committee president Kevin Walsh calling it a great festival with good numbers.

Festival programmer Paul Dion said there was a huge variety of music of a high standard.

"I've had nothing but positive comments from jazz lovers," Mr Dion said.

And it wasn't just the music that kept everyone happy. This year for the first time there was a Lakeside Lantern Walk where more than 1000 people were estimated to have taken part in a walk from Spencer Park to Market St. The closure of part of Market St allowed for more music and entertainment during Saturday.

Chamber of Commerce president Lynn McColl said she was very excited by the potential of StreetFest.

Merimbula Tourism manager Chris Nicholls said that visitors were very impressed by having more activity around the town.

From Friday evening the festival was well underway with venues busy, the Lakeview Hotel having to turn away diners because of numbers and standing room only 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.

With the closure of part of Market St 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.

Both Mr Walsh and Mr Dion pointed to next year being the 40th Jazz Festival. We're looking to make this extra special and planning will start very early; it will be a big one," Mr Dion said.

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