Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Cultures Combine in Ocean St Festival

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Cultures Combine in Ocean St Festival

Article excerpt

Byline: MEGAN MACKANDER

LOOK at us now.

More than 30,000 people strolled through Ocean St over 12 hours yesterday among a sea of sites, sounds and smells from across the world.

The popularity of the Ocean Street World Festival is testament to how far the Maroochydore dining and entertainment hub has come.

Just two years ago, the rundown former services and retail strip would struggle to achieve a crowd of 30,000 in one year.

Now the thriving hub has become the jewel of the crown in Maroochydore.

And the winning formula is working. Market and food stalls lined Ocean St yesterday and, for the first time, through to Duporth Ave as the street festival spreads its reach.

Now in its fourth year, the Ocean Street World Festival is building momentum alongside the growing number of restaurants, bars, cafes and venues along the street.

Maroochydore Revitalisation Association president James Birrell said a group of likeminded locals had made it their mission to bring nightlife to the Coast.

"For so many people to have gotten behind the original vision and help developed it into what it is today is fantastic," Mr Birrell said.

"And it will only continue to grow.

"There are a bunch of stakeholders in this with not just financial interests, but also lifestyle interests who are focused on making this work.

"We are in our late 20s and early 30s and really, it's we either move to Melbourne or we stay here and make it work, so we've pulled our socks up and made a culture for ourselves."

And that culture is catching.

International foods from German to Indonesian, Spanish to African, juices to ice creams kept the smells wafting from Ocean Street all day.

Two stages brought an eclectic mix of music from belly dancing, South Sea Islander music, Brazilian samba and funk, jazz and afro beats. …

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