EXTRA DAY: Seafood feast grows thanks to state grant

SPECTACULAR: Apollo Bay Seafood Festival committee members, from left, Cate Thomas, Merri Hagan and Yvette Hill are excited for the fifth annual festival on February 20. The festival also added a Friday night opening party on February 19.

SPECTACULAR: Apollo Bay Seafood Festival committee members, from left, Cate Thomas, Merri Hagan and Yvette Hill are excited for the fifth annual festival on February 20. The festival also added a Friday night opening party on February 19.

ORGANISERS of the Apollo Bay Seafood Festival have extended the event by a day after receiving a State Government grant.

The festival has added an opening night party nicknamed the Friday Night Sea Folly at its event site on the Apollo Bay foreshore on February 19.

The State Government is providing $10,000 to support the event as part of its $1.4 million Great Ocean Road Economic and Community Recovery Package.

Apollo Bay Seafood Festival organising committee member Merri Hagan said next Friday’s opening night party would be “a stand-up cocktail party event” with canapés, drinks and live music.

“The idea was to stage an event which could extend the length of stay for visitors, so it obviously made sense to do something on the Friday night,” Ms Hagan said.

“It’s something fun and in keeping with the theme and all the food and drinks served at the cocktail event on the Friday night will be locally sourced and produced.”

Ms Hagan said Saturday’s main event on February 20 would include cooking demonstrations from Colac and district and celebrity chefs, Apollo Bay and Melbourne-based musicians, food stalls and family entertainment throughout the day.

The festival is in its fifth year and attracted more than 6000 people last year.

“Last year was our biggest festival yet; and so we’re expecting similar numbers this year, provided of course the weather is great like it was last year,” Ms Hagan said.

“It’s really going from strength to strength; every year we are expanding the offering to include producers in the region and as we become more well known we are able to attract a greater variety.”

More information on the Apollo Bay Seafood Festival is available at www.apollobandseafoodfestival.com

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