Surfing the Coldstream festival hit at Yamba
By TOBY WALKER
YAMBA has always had its place in the sun but over the past two days it positively shined as thousands of people streamed into town to celebrate the inaugural arts-fringe festival, Surfing the Coldstream.
Inclement weather in the days leading up to the festival set the stage for an anxious wait but when it came to showtime everything clicked.
From start to finish, Yamba's CBD was buzzing with excitement as crowds moved from market stalls to street shows to take in the vast array of curious attractions brought together by the festival's tireless organising committee.
In keeping with Yamba's celebrated lifestyle, the festival was a relatively relaxed affair.
Traffic was diverted around Coldstream Street on Saturday and yesterday to allow people to gather in the sunshine and take in the festival's world-class street performances.
It's a well-worn cliche, but there really was something for everyone.
Yamba's rugby union oval was at various times home to dance workshops, children's theatre, musical performances and a food village.
After an encouraging start on Saturday, crowds thinned in the afternoon to most likely rest or go to the beach.
But as the sun was beginning to set on Saturday, Yamba came alive like never before.
Fremantle-based fire performer The Parrafinalien had the grassy top of Yamba Hill as his stage and four whales occasionally breaching in the ocean behind him as his backdrop.
It was a special moment that many took away as their highlight.
But those who missed it had plenty of other special moments to enjoy.
A mass of people spread out over Coldstream Street to see theatrical innvoators Erth and carnival drummers The Samba Blisstas lead a flare-guided street parade from the top of the hill to the oval.
Thousands ended up on the oval dancing the night away to live music as those involved with organising the festival were given a chance to savour the moment, a moment that enshrined what they had hoped to bring to Yamba ? fun for everyone.
Festival organiser Dom Ferry could not have been happier with how things turned out after months of pre-planning.
"How often do you see 3500 people having a really good time on the streets of Yamba on a Saturday night?," Mr Ferry said
"How often do you see kids laughing and enjoying things?
"There were lots of lovely moments."
Police numbers were boosted in anticipation of the big crowd. Police were happy to report most people had been generally well-behaved. Police made one arrest for offensive behaviour.