The 16th biennial South Australian Wooden Boat Festival from April 27-28 is more than a flotilla – it’s the sharing of memories that will stay with you forever.
Presented by the Alexandrina Council and South Australian Tourism Commission, with the Goolwa & District Community Bendigo Bank Branch among the immensely appreciated supporters, this festival offers an integral part of South Australia’s proud river trade history and a unique culture among wooden boat enthusiasts.
Most of all, the SAWBF is about fun, absorbing all of the excitement of the grand parades led by the bellowing paddlesteamers Marion and Oscar W, talking to boat owners and having a close-up look at their pride and joy, and taking in a wealth of knowledge and action on the river and on-land.
Share the laughter with the rough ‘n ready adventure where participants try to launch their “unsinkable” hurriedly put together craft, and see the children enjoy the pirate trail. There are paddlesteamers and wooden boats of all shapes and sizes – each with a special story to tell.
The entertainment is extended this year beyond the historic surrounds of the Goolwa Wharf Precinct with events and exhibitions along the southern bank to the Armfield Boatshed & Slipway where the two boats used for the amazingly popular Storm Boy movie will be on display. Further down there will be hundreds of people paddling dinghies and dragonboats, sailing and cruising.
A huge LED screen provided by Optus will highlight all of the up-stream action at the Wharf, and overall there will be stalls and special areas to sample some of the region’s outstanding culinary delights and finest wines.
Come the Saturday night there will be a spectacular fireworks display off the Hindmarsh Island Bridge.
The SAWBF is special for the hundreds of participants, but most importantly for South Australia. It reflects a wonderful part of our state’s heritage, and the community spirit of the River Port of Goolwa which is giving us a magnificent, free event. You are most welcome to attend – absorb everything this town, the region and its biennial festival has to offer. The memories will last a lifetime.