Seafest Success sweeps through Cardwell

Pirates and mermaids out and about including the beautiful Ariel and Captain Jack Sparrow.

FOUR thousand people from all over the North flocked to Cardwell for Seafest last weekend, which had events going from Friday, October 1 to Sunday, October 3.

Thanks to a massive community effort, the sponsors, and the dedicated work of organizer Robyn Smith, the annual festival was a huge success. 

Live music and Seafest parties kicked off the long weekend on Friday at the Marine Hotel and Cardwell Country Club. Saturday was packed full of events for all ages, with everything from a cupcake decorating competition at Brearley’s Bakery to a treasure hunt, and even a photo exhibition at Seabreeze Café. 

The Cardwell Seafest Youth Challenge was a big hit with the kids. 


“The youth challenge had participants from Atherton, Cairns, Tully, and Cardwell,” said Smith. 


“It showed how many visitors we had, and that’s what the event is all about.” 


An egg and spoon race, sack race, hoola hoop obstacle, tyre roll, and bocce ball with painted coconuts were some of the activities, with kids of all ages taking home amazing cash prizes thanks to Cr Mark and Marsh Nolan’s donation of $500. 


The winners were:

First Place CARDWELL Maya $250

Second Place ATHERTON Amber $150

Third Place CAIRNS Dylan $50

Fourth Place TULLY Alyssa $50


Classic cars cruised the foreshore in the spectacular Hot Rod Classic Car and Bike Show, which drew a crowd of 2000 people. 

“The car show was amazing,” said Smith. 

Captain Jack Sparrow, Ariel the Mermaid, and many more wonderful sea creatures were seen wondering around all weekend.  The Country Mile Helicopter Lolly Drop was back this year, thanks to Pete and Melissa Liddle, and kids were scrambling for the raining lollies, which were courtesy of Dave and Angela Blackford.

A Drum ‘n Dance display, food, and live music, prizes for best dressed, and face painting were all great fun, and the day was wrapped up with a spectacular fireworks’ display over the Cardwell Jetty, thanks to Xplosive Art Fireworks. 

Sunday kicked off with the Seafest Markets on the Foreshore, serenaded by a 14-piece band. More events kept the entertainment flowing, and nothing says Cardwell quite like the Cardwell Seafest ‘Mullet Chuck’.  The ‘chuck a mullet’ event was thanks to Great Barrier Reef Fishing Charters. The 2021 Crystal Bay Prawn Peeling challenge was also a hit, with Daniel Squillari from Innisfail taking out first place after peeling a dozen prawns in 1.13 minutes.

Last year’s 4.5-minute record for the Cardwell ‘Jessies’ Pie Challenge’ was shattered by Mick from Bilyana, who scoffed his pies in an incredible 2.58 minutes, taking out the champ title.

Seafest was a huge success and will be back next year on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. 

“Overall, we were very pleased with crowd attendance and the participation from local businesses. It made for an amazing weekend, and a great recipe for an even bigger event next year!” said Smith.

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