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Wagonga oysters and live music on Festival menu

Wagonga Inlet oyster farmers and Narooma Oyster Festival organisers are celebrating the Inlet being given the ‘all clear’ last week for the harvesting and sale of oysters.

That means Narooma oysters will be on sale at this Saturday’s Oyster Festival (NOF) along with those from the Clyde, Merimbula and Pambula estuaries and possibly the Shoalhaven.

‘Our oysters should be in top condition for the festival,’ said delighted Narooma oyster farmer David Maidment.

Festival organising committee chairman Niels Bendixsen said it is wonderful Narooma oysters are back on the Festival menu

‘The Festival is really coming together with great oysters, top chefs for the cooking demonstrations, good weather forecast, lots of interest from far afield as well as locally, an unprecedented number of competitors for the oyster shucking competition, and over 60 food and market stalls,’ he said.

‘We’ve now also confirmed a fabulous line-up of musicians who will add to the atmosphere of the festival and appeal to a wide range of festival goers.

‘Even if you’re not an oyster lover, the entertainment alone will be sensational. ’

The popular 19-Twenty band will launch the Festival on Friday night at the free family concert and fireworks.

On Saturday the Festival starts with the original and exciting sounds of local instrumental group Malumba with Dan Efraemson on violin and flute and John Hoorweg on guitar.

‘They’ll be followed by Djembe Forte, an Australian group playing West African rhythms accompanied by dancers,’ Mr Bendixsen said.

‘Then Beautifully Mad’s Tony King and Nina Vox range from folk to jazz, and expect goose-bumps from the hauntingly beautiful to the wild Hendrix spiked guitar and dirty New Orleans exhilaration of a band possessed.’

Early afternoon the Brass Knuckle Brass Band will up the energy with an incredible show. ‘They’ve been described as ‘think whiskey dripping from trombone spit-valves; think drummers with callouses on their callouses. Think a baritone sax belting at Bourbon Street from the wrong hemisphere and you're getting the idea.’

The Lachy Doley Band takes the Festival out on Saturday afternoon with another high energy show. Lachy Doley has been referred to as ‘the Jimmi Hendrix of the Hammond organ’ producing ‘sounds from a keyboard that are intense, ferocious and sometimes transcendent.’

‘Narooma is in for a treat,’ Mr Bendixsen said. ‘We look forward to seeing everyone there.’

Check Narooma Oyster Festival webpage and Facebook for latest information.

Above: Narooma oyster farmer David Maidment said the recent closure of Wagonga Inlet after heavy rain meant the local industry, which directly employs about 20 people, had no income in that time.

‘The recent closure was longer than usual so we’re all relieved the Inlet has reopened,’ he said. ‘The other good news is there’s such good demand out there for Narooma oysters.’

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