Fun for all at Yakkerboo

Keeper of Mr Yakkerboo giving the town's beloved bunyip his annual dental check-up. Pictures: MATTHEW SIMS

By Matthew Sims

Pakenham’s PB Ronald Reserve is set to be painted green as the annual Yakkerboo Festival takes over the town this weekend, with the inaugural walking parade among the festival’s highlights.

Festival secretary Jeanine Pushman said the committee are excited for the festival.

“Yakkerboo Festival celebrates the birthday of Mr Yakkerboo, a mythical bunyip,“ she said.

“The festival has been running since 1976 and celebrates the Pakenham community.

“The festival has always been run by a volunteer committee, with money coming from fundraising, sponsorship and grants.“

Ms Pushman said everyone is welcome to come celebrate the launch of the festival on Saturday 20 April, running from 5pm and culminating in the fireworks display at 9pm.

“This year, the festival combines some of the nostalgic features of festivals past, as well as new initiatives,“ she said.

“The festival starts on the Saturday night with rides at carnival prices, food trucks, performances and an open mic opportunity on the Cardinia Creative Community sponsored Live and Local stage.

“There will be seating available on hay bales, but as in years past, festival goers are encouraged to bring a chair or a picnic mat to relax on.“

This year will also include the inaugural walking parade along the footpath of the PB Ronald Reserve from 10am on Sunday 21 April, with local community groups, schools and kinders showcasing their displays with the theme of ’What You Dream Of’, with trophies made by the Cardinia Men’s Shed up for grabs for the best school, best kinder and best in-theme displays.

Food trucks and market stalls will also be open from 10am, with rides, face painting and pony rides kicking off from 11am.

The Pakenham library will be open from 1pm to 4pm, with a Lego building competition and a Yakkerboo colouring competition, while the Pakenham CFA brigade will be running an open day at their Henry Street station.

This year will also mark the final hurrah for keeper of Mr Yakkerboo Graeme Moore in the role.

Ms Pushman said the committee will be forever grateful for Cr Moore’s efforts.

“We are losing a personality of many talents who’ll be sadly missed,“ she said.

“We give our heartfelt thanks and wish him happy travels for the future.“

Committee member Sandra Evans said the event is the culmination of hundreds of hours of work.

“It’s a big effort,“ she said.

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