YEPPOON Lions' spectacular Rio Carnivale celebration packed crowds into the town for a twilight market, a huge fireworks launch of the 2016 Tropical Pinefest, Bobby Alu Band on Friday night and inspired the festive spirit of the Rio theme throughout the weekend.
Blessed with fine weather, Pinefest's magnetic appeal, entertainment and excitement drew up to 10,000 Rio revellers from along the coast, from Rockhampton and the region.
It gave a welcome economic boost to the hospitality, retail and accommodation businesses and injected $36,321 of hard earned funds into major charities, raised by entrants in the Pinefest Ambassador Quest, Rachel Pilcher-Willson, Catlin Buttenshaw and Jaclyn Spencer. Up to 10,000 Rio revellers attended the event.
The Lions Pinefest Ambassador's Ball at Yeppoon town hall on Saturday night was a sell out, was a magnificent function with pre-dinner drinks and finger food in the lounge, dinner in the auditorium and entertainment by The Mood Band.
Yeppoon Lions president, Don Knowles and Pinefest Committee chairman, Nigel Hutton welcomed everyone to the dinner.
major sponsors, officials and dinner guests and introduced the quest judges, Sandy Champion, Peter Botham and Trish Holland. Livingstone deputy mayor, Cr Graham Scott gave a toast to Pinefest.
Rachel was crowned 2016 Ambassador. Caitlin raised $16,300 of the total fundraising and won the 2016 Charity Ambassador.
An enormous Sunday crowd filled James Street, Anzac Parade and the beachfront for Coal Train Rio Carnivale Lions Pinefest Street Parade. More than 2 km of the most colourful floats rocked with five bands, numerous dancers, Bazilian and Latin-American music, story book animal outfits, performers on foot and on dirt bikes.
Champion parade entries who shared $1600 in cash prizes were: Grand Champion - Keppel Bay Sailing Club: Pinefest theme - Yeppoon Pineapple Growers: Rio Carnivale theme - Capricorn Coast Churches Together: Business - Ruby Coffee Van: Colourful - Livingstone Shire Council: Comical - Express Hair Salon: Club or Community Group - Capricorn Coast Outrigger Canoe Club: Group on Foot - Aussie Cheer Leaders: School - Yeppoon State School: Student Group - Capricorn Coast Junior Rugby Union Club: Sole Entry - Coast Ghost Story Telling: Most Unusual - Yeppoon Balloons.
On the beachfront, crowds packed into all day entertainment, a food court, market stalls, Pinefest Beach Olympics and a night film show.
Major and many other business and corporate sponsors have helped to maintain the viability of this annual event which costs Yeppoon Lions Club almost $80,000 to stage. Yeppoon Lions Tropical Pinefest has raised almost $1 million dollars for charities , medical research, national and international disasters and emergencies since founding in 1967.