The 2019 Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen's Club Shoalhaven River Festival is in its final stages of preparation and organisers say the day will set a new standard for the event.
The festival will be held on Saturday, October 26 and is now in its seventh year.
The theme for 2019 is Spirit Of The River.
A great lineup of all local songwriters and bands will be performing from 9am. Local favorites 19 Twenty, who have become recognised as one of the country's favourite festival acts, will be topping the bill.
Not only is this going to be a great spectacle, but a great opportunity for the local music community to share and inspire each other.
The line up has been curated by River Festival committee chair and ARIA finalist Paul Greene. Paul will also be performing.
On the river
The river itself will be alive with activities organised by committee deputy chair, David Fleeting.
There will be races, performances and spectacles for the water sport enthusiast.
Jet Ski NSW will run a series of events; Water Ski NSW is holding races along the river; The Navy Helicopter will be making a mock rescue before a riverbank full of spectators, and there will be Seaplane flights and ferry cruises.
Dragon Boats, rowing and sailing demonstrations will be scheduled throughout the day.
Later in the evening, water sprays and lighting on the bridge will be transforming the scene as night falls.
There will be lit tinnies and a lantern parade with more than 200 participants. The lanterns were all created by Terara Public School students with the help of local artist Dora Rognvaldsdottir from Mad Cow Studios.
Markets and food
Throughout the day the markets will be providing for all tastes with mouthwatering food as well as artisans and retail to entice and intrigue.
There is a huge contingent of local stalls as well as a few well-known stalls and food vans from further afield.
A new venture will be introduced to this years festival organised by committee member Michelle Maconachie, with ticketed event 'the Long Table Lunch', utilising the natural beauty of the the river reserve on the northern banks of the river.
Arts and culture
The ArtZone will keep the creative and curious entertained with artist Gillian Rhys making Spirit Masks, arty fun with Kids with ARTitude, Circus Monoxide, Shoalhaven Regional Gallery pop up doing amazing things with recycled materials, zig zag books with Bundanon Trust and Aboriginal elder Steve Russell teaching traditional weaving.
For the first time there is an all day dance floor with some great local talent and plenty of opportunity to practice your moves to the sounds of the Con Artists.
This year there are two art installations. Local artists Randall Sinnamon and Shaun Prince will be transforming the Flood Boat Pavilion for the last time before work begins on the new bridge.
The magic Bungli Flow Sound Installation has underwater Indigenous poetry written by local children with Red Room Poetry, Allan Giddy and First Nations artists Nicole Smede, Jacob Morris and Adrian Webster. The ArtZone is coordinated by local creative Marla Guppy.
'Spirit Of The River' is the presentation in the evening which acknowledges and celebrates our Indigenous community's connection to the Shoalhaven River.
Festival goers will experience a cultural ceremony which will be calling up The Spirit Of The River through song and dance led by Goombine, Richard Scott-Moore and performed by the Doonooch Dancers.
This will be followed by a visual spectacular as Spirit awakens of illuminated effects on and around the river, ending in the fireworks display.
This ceremony andperformance has been created through consultation with the local Indigenous community and Elders and promises to be an amazing tribute to all who live in and around the Shoalhaven River.
Organisers thanked Aunty Julie Freeman, Richard Scott-Moore, Dawn Hawkins, Marla Guppy and David Fleeting for bringing Spirit Of The River to life.
The volunteer committee have been working hard all year and hope the whole community gets behind the unique celebration of the Shoalhaven and our beautiful river.