APOLLO Bay was swimming with activity for its inaugural seafood festival at the weekend.
Apollo Bay Seafood Festival spokeswoman Katrina Kiely said more than 2000 people travelled to the coastal hamlet for the “amazing” seafood event.
“There were so many out-of-towners as well as locals – that’s what was really great about it,” Ms Kiely said.
“There were a lot of faces I wasn’t familiar with, a lot of tourists that came down for the event and said it was one of the best festivals they’d been to because it was so engaging and intimate,” she said.
“There would be a cooking demonstration and then a band would come on – bands were amazing – and then after that finished it was straight to another cooking demonstration.
“So there was always something to see or do.”
Ms Kiely said Colac and district businesses showcased their products and skills at Saturday’s festival.
She said seven bands had the crowd dancing, while Polwarth MP Terry Mulder and Colac Otway Shire councillor Frank Buchanan helped make a seafood bisque which Mr Mulder later shared with a couple celebrating their 24th anniversary.
“We couldn’t have asked for it to be any better, we didn’t know what to expect and it’s surpassed expectations,” she said.
“A lot of the places ended up running out of food.
“Otway Estate ran out of wines, they had to get someone to come down and restock, and then they ran out again.
“The quality of dishes were unbelievable. Chris from Chris’s restaurant had this amazing crayfish which was devoured by the audience very quickly.”
Ms Kiely said the event would return next year “if we can get the funding”.
“That’s what we’ll heavily rely on, and the generosity of local businesses,” she said.
“Sometimes festivals get too big and they lose that energy so bigger isn’t necessarily better.
“There was really a special energy in the air and just to be part of that initial festival and be so welcomed and received, that can’t be replicated.”