Tin Can Bay Bakery owner Arthur Jessup says the decision to cancel this year's Seafood Festival is disappointing, but it had been in decline over the past few years.
Tin Can Bay Bakery owner Arthur Jessup says the decision to cancel this year's Seafood Festival is disappointing, but it had been in decline over the past few years. Frances Klein

How Tin Can Bay businesses reacted to Seafood Festival news

DISAPPOINTMENT and hope were the common reactions among Tin Can Bay businesses to news the annual seafood festival would not happen this year.

Tin Can Bay Country Club manager Brad Robb said the event was synonymous with the town.

"It'd be like if you took the Pumpkin Festival away from Goomeri,” Mr Robb said.

He said not every business would be hurt (he was not sure how much it contributed to his own), but the hole it left was more than economic.

Tin Can Bay Seafood Festival mascots.
Tin Can Bay Seafood Festival mascots. Contributed

"It gave kids something to look forward to,” he said.

Tin Can Bay bakery owner Arthur Jessup said it was "a shame” the festival was cancelled, as it would make it hard for the businesses that did rely on the influx.

However, he said in the past 20 years there had been a shift in the event.

"Over the years the thing has declined (in both numbers and quality),” Mr Jessup said.

As he relies on year-around local trade, like Mr Robb he said his bakery would not be too badly impacted.

"Anything else is a bonus... it doesn't give us any boost.”

It was different for Kingfisher Caravan Park co-owner Debra Hall, who said she understood why the new Chamber of Commerce had cancelled this year's festival - but it still hurt.

"I'm extremely disappointed,” she said. "So many people do come to town to enjoy the festival.”

Brad Robb.
Brad Robb. Tom Daunt

Ms Hall said she hoped Bay businesses would step up and help bring the festival back "bigger and better next year”.

Commercial fisherman Kevin Reibel said that with the fishing industry currently under fire from interest groups and governing bodies, it was unfortunate to not have it this year.

"I'm disappointed that is isn't happening, but hope that lessons have been learned and it's up and running better than ever next year.”

The Sleepy Lagoon Motel's Paul Beller said he hoped it would continue in future years.

"(The festival) is a good thing for Tin Can Bay,” he said.

Gympie Times


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