Under somewhat grey skies and with everyone keeping their fingers crossed for the worst of the wet weather to avoid Eden, the Whale Festival was officially opened at the Eden Welcome Centre by Bega Valley Shire Mayor Russell Fitzpatrick.
A Welcome to Country was given by BJ Cruse with Nathan Lygon performing the Smoking Ceremony at which everyone was invited to walk through the smoke.
Cr Fitzpatrick said it was great to see the festival back after two years of being affected by the pandemic.
He spoke of the importance of volunteers saying everything we did was based around volunteers. It was a sentiment that resonated well with the audience in view of the efforts of volunteers around the cruise industry.
"This weekend is about the spirit of our community; it's time to get out, enjoy friendship and show some love for each other," Cr Fitzpatrick said.
Author Lyn Hughes spoke about setting her novel Mr Carver's Whale, partly in Eden and how she had found a connection to the town from the first time she visited.
"I teared up as I drove into Snug Cove because it's known to me by my characters," Ms Hughes said.
"When Whaling stopped is was a weight lifted from our shoulders and from our hearts."
Ms Hughes is talking about her book at the Eden Library at 10.30am Saturday, October 8.w
She said it was a beacon of hope that every whaling port now did whale watching.
The crowd at the opening was joined by celebrity chef Miguel Maestre who is at the Barclay Street Sportsgrounds, Saturday, October 8 at 1pm as he incorporates local seafood with his energetic Spanish cooking style, to create a delicious Eden-inspired seafood paella.
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