Celebrating our community

COMING TOGETHER: The 2018 Tilligerry Festival  consists of a week of events culminating with a Fun Day on Saturday, November 17 at Henderson Park, Lemon Tree Passage.
COMING TOGETHER: The 2018 Tilligerry Festival consists of a week of events culminating with a Fun Day on Saturday, November 17 at Henderson Park, Lemon Tree Passage.

The fabulous 2018 Tilligerry Festival will come to a climax on Saturday, November 17 at Henderson Park, Lemon Tree Passage with a day of family friendly activities.

The celebration concludes a week of events that showcase the people and places on the peninsula.

“The festival is about community working together,” organiser Fran Corner said.

“The five villages on the peninsula – Salt Ash, Mallabula, Lemon Tree Passage, Oyster Cove and Tanilba Bay – and how we recognise our heritage and look after our bushland in between.”

This year the festival will include a trip to Tahlee to pay homage to the historical links between the Tilligerry and the small coastal village.

Tilligerry Art Gallery will feature a special exhibition and walks will be held at Tanilba House.

The Fun Day on   Saturday, November 17 at Henderson Park will feature markets, a fairground, community group displays, music, food, fireworks, a sail past and cultural activities.

“Our mission is to get people to work together, hold an event, and protect the heritage and environment of the area,” Ms Corner said.

“Another main feature is to involve the kids and do the cultural stuff.  We’ll have a fairground, fireworks  and lots of activities that showcase our community groups and what they do.”

Market stalls start about 7am on the day with Port Stephens mayor Ryan Palmer presiding over the official opening at 10am with local schoolgirl and prominent community volunteer Belle Nikki  doing Welcome to Country.

“Tanilba Bay Public School will put on some   displays for the crowd,” Ms Corner said.

“There will be a sail past which always combines a bit of drama with dress-ups, the RFS will lead a parade of cars which is a new initiative this year, and Hunter Valley Three Wheel Tours will be providing rides on their Harley Davidson trikes.

“Throughout the day, community groups will be putting on displays of things like belly dancing, tai chi, Aboriginal games, dragon boats and sand modelling.

“Music starts around 5pm amd then from about 8pm until the fireworks at 9pm,  giant puppets, courtesy of local group Curious Legends, will be moving around the crowd, all brightly illuminated, engaging with people.

“Then we’ll finish with the fireworks over the water which will be beautiful.”

A host of food carts will provide a range of tasty food and beverages for visitors, complementing the barbecue run by the local football club.

“Those guys deserve a medal,” Ms Corner says. “They work all day, along with all the other volunteers, and then donate $1000 which goes towards running next year’s festival along with the proceeds of our raffle which features 40 prizes all donated by the local community.”