FIRE on Water attracted a record crowd yesterday as the Scenic Rim’s last hoorah for the Commonwealth Games celebrations.
Locals, visitors and overseas tourists turned up in their thousands for the free all-day event sponsored by Scenic Rim Regional Council and held at the Ramada Resort Kooralbyn.
Light rain saw a slow start to festivities but the valley echoed with music from the outdoor stage throughout the day.
The event was kicked off by the official opening of a pedestrian walking trail by beloved Aboriginal elder Auntie Ruby, who also presented the Welcome to Country and appeared on the main stage with the Scenic Rim’s People’s Orchestra in the evening.
Scenic Rim artisans set up their market stalls where people could purchase or browse locally-made art and handcrafts or simply stop by for a friendly chat as the crowd was entertained by members of the Goat Track Theatre depicting Scenic Rim bird life including a troupe of ‘military magpies’.
Local children displayed newly-acquired acrobatic and circus skills for the Circa Fire on Water presentation. Families came with picnics or made use of the many food trucks scattered around the area.
As night fell, the audience congregated around the fire pits and were enthralled by Auntie Ruby’s famed story telling as she spoke of the history and culture of our Scenic Rim.
An impressive Aboriginal ceremony involving a fire circle on the lawn signaled the start of the evening entertainment.
Mayor Greg Christensen introduced the People’s orchestra made up of Scenic Rim musicians, singers and children of all ages who were presenting their Shared Fire performance in its entirety for the first time. The crowd roared agreement when Cr Christensen declared the event a success and suggested we should do it again.
As the People’s Orchestra performed, children marched onto the lawn area with their hand-made lanterns.
A barge on the lagoon featured a steel art installation created by Scenic Rim artists, the result of the Hold the Hammer Upside Down workshop held at The Centre Beaudesert in January.
Steel and fire artist Jeremy Runnalls who assisted at the workshop said the installation was internally lit and depicted the mountain range and eagles taking flight and soaring above it.
“Each square steel panel measures 2.4m and weighs 200kg,” he said.
The event concluded with a fireworks display at 7.30pm.