The Riverina BMW Wagga Food and Wine festival is still kicking along down at Wollundry Lagoon.
Let’s recap on all the action thus far:
Behind the scenes
Event coordinator Laurie Blowes and his tireless team of volunteers have been working since 7am on Friday, March 23 to have the festival up and running.
“It’s one hell of a job,” Mr Blowes said.
“But we’ve been getting through just fine.”
There’s enough work to manage the volunteer army, let alone all the stallholders.
“There’s roughly 30 stalls and 11 wineries here today,” Mr Blowes said.
“Then there’s the VIP section, all the entertainers and of course, the stage.”
“But the major difference this year is the crowd flow.”
The organisers shook things up this year with a slightly different approach to sales.
Unlike previous years, wine sellers have now been fully responsible for the costing of their products.
“It’s just easier with ticketing to have the wine sellers go directly,” he said.
Music in the mix
Wine sales and bulk stalls weren’t the only difference in 2018, with budding buskers given the chance to showcase their talents in Wagga’s CBD for the occasion.
Nominations for musicians aged under 18 to perform on Baylis Street were sent out last week with overwhelmingly positive results.
“We had no idea how many people would want to participate in our busking talent quest but we got around 30 nominations back,” Mr Blowes said.
“Now there’s been music up and down the street all day – it’s been terrific.”
Emma Wellard was one such busker.
“It’s been really good fun, actually,” she said.
“I got into it because one of my friends tagged me in a post on Facebook and he’s raising money for charity, so I just offered to busk for him.”
Other young musicians, such as local product ‘Heatstroke’ were cutting their teeth on the festival’s main stage.
Check out our above video for some of the action.
Desire for freshness at the forefront
Some stallholders have sacrificed hours and even days for the festival.
Take Ron and Rebecca Lee from Little Shucker Oyster & Mussel Bar.
The hard-working Wagga duo made a five-hour haul to Bateman’s Bay yesterday to collect their seafood selection at midnight before heading straight back to town.
“We got back in at about 5am this morning and shucked them immediately for freshness,” Ron said.
“Now we’re back at it for a full 12 hours,”
To the duo’s credit, business was positively booming.
“It’s just been busy as hell, absolutely flat out,” Ron said.
“It’s been hot and our stuff just goes with wine so we’ve been squarely under the pump.”