Anniversary of the Rockhampton River Festival

Every year since its conception the Rockhampton River Festival has drawn crowds. Here are recollections of the first Rockhampton River Festival event held.

Rocky’s First Ever River Festival

When it started: 2014

Who started it: The Rockhampton Regional Council

Why it started: The vision was to bring people together, showcase local talents, acknowledge the region’s diversity and “celebrate Rockhampton as the heart of Central Queensland.” It would of course also help business by attracting people to the city. The name itself honoured the mighty Fitzroy River, which flows through and could be named the ‘lifeblood’ of Central Queensland.

The developers saw the Rockhampton River Festival as a novel annual event for the Rockhampton Region.

It was officially launched by Her Excellency The Honourable Ms Penelope Wensley, AC, Governor of Queensland on the 25 June 2014.

This was the planning stage only, a conceptual model…The rest was yet to come.

When it first happened: The first actual festival was held on the second weekend in July 2015 (10-12th).

It was described as the “Region’s most colourful event” that earmarked Rockhampton’s iconic riverfront.

The River Festival Fireworks lit up the sky at night.

Fireworks On River Rockhampton 2015
Fireworks seen from the riverbank Rockhampton River Festival

The Saturday night featured a Variety River Dine with the Mayor Margaret Strelow. Attendees enjoyed a 3-course gourmet dinner with wine and entertainment overlooking the river.

There was also the boardwalk Croc-Tail Party.

2015 Dine And Wine River Festival
Wining and dining included the Boardwalk Croc-tail Party

Fourex (XXXX) partnered with the organisers to supply drinks for the whole Rockhampton River Festival.

Over 25,000 people attended the 2015 Rockhampton River Festival, it was reported, and Yellow Cabs were there to take attendees to and from the festival.

Crowd In Street River Festival Rocky 2015
Crowd in Quay Lane at the 2015 Rockhampton River Festival

Market stall holders attracted the crowds in the streets with creativity and local crafts on offer for those looking for original items or something handmade and different.

Market Stalls Rocky River Festival 2015
Market stalls at night at the 2015 Rockhampton River Festival

If all the buzz got too much for you, you could hang out in the Pallet Palace to relax.

2015 River Festival Pallet Palace
The Pallet Palace at the first anniversary Rockhampton River Festival

But it wouldn’t be long before you’d be seeking that next ‘thing’ to see or hear…there were many talented performers to keep you entertained.

Artists at the Inaugural Rockhampton River Festival

Mo’ Swagger | Pandamic | The Brains Trust | Outside The Academy | The Short Fall | La Mont | Jonny BOINKIN | JOHN HOFFMAN CONNECTION | Ben Beasley | The Workshop Band | Tucky | Double Plugga | The Jacqui Walker Band | Elephant Juice | Chasing the Jeffrey | Broccoli Forest | Seleen McAllister | Tori Darke| Ben Brady | Mad Hat Band | RockForce | Brother Joe | Daughters of J | Lyn Anstey | Vegas To Vancouver | Weathered

Performers River Festival Rocky 2015
Performers at the inaugural Rockhampton River Festival were many and varied

What people thought

“It was fabulous. We came from Tannum sands. We had a great day out on Saturday. Stairs at the beach were the only prob. The lane with the the lanterns was absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t believe that I was in Rocky. Well done everyone.” Jody Smith, FB

Photos courtesy of Aaron Young

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