New format to celebrate local waterways

Memorial Park at The Entance in November 2019 for Light Up The Lake, part of The Lakes Festival

The Central Coast Lakes Festival is one of the Coast’s highly anticipated annual events and this year Central Coast Council has created a new format for the event to ensure it can proceed in line with Public Health Orders.

The 2021 Program includes the animated mascot Pippa the Pelican appearing in educational videos and on social media to share key messages around our waterways.

There will also be the Get Active Scavenger Hunt where people can complete challenges and activities along four shared pathways using a mobile app, with a Stand-Up Paddle Board prize for the winner with the highest points.

These shared pathways are located at Tuggerawong, Chittaway, The Entrance, Gosford, Woy Woy, Kincumber and Davistown.

The festival will also have a series of kids’ craft and science activities, as well as Eat Fest, which will feature different local food trucks popping up in a new waterway location each day during the festival for patrons to grab some takeaway or a picnic within restrictions.

Council will also spotlight its iBook’s, eBooks, virtual tours and videos from loveourwaterways.centralcoast.nsw.gov.au and will work with relevant organisations to hold Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga, kayaking or surfing lessons and other activations if restrictions allow.

Council Director of Community and Recreation Services, Julie Vaughn, said Council had to cancel last year’s event due to COVID and an online format with a real-world scavenger hunt would ensure the event could go ahead and people could celebrate lcoal waterways in a COVID-safe way.

“Waterways are a huge part of the Central Coast community’s lifestyle.

“They underpin our identity, support our local economy, provide recreational and social opportunities for locals and visitors, and support our mental and physical wellbeing.

“The Lakes Festival has had year on growth, more than doubling in size from 2015 to attract 65,000 attendees to 10 event hubs right across the Coast and we are excited to think of new ways for people to experience our waterways,” Vaughn said.

Council Administrator, Rik Hart, said the community had proven to be resilient throughout the pandemic.

“The Central Coast community has been consistently disrupted by Public Health Orders and NSW Government restrictions.

“The current NSW Government restrictions have also significantly impacted the ability to deliver events.

“The Lakes Festival is something that many people and local businesses look forward to and while we are unable to deliver the event in the same format as previous years, we hope that this new program will lift people’s spirits and connect us in celebration,” Hart said.

Lakes Festival 2021 will run from November 5 to 14.

Council will issue further details closer to the date at centralcoast.nsw.gov.au/TheLakesFestival

Harry Mulholland

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