Bryce Grey, 15, of Gold Coast, put on a mighty display of wakeboarding at the Woodburn River Festival.
Bryce Grey, 15, of Gold Coast, put on a mighty display of wakeboarding at the Woodburn River Festival. Marc Stapelberg

Woodburn abuzz as preschoolers perform bee jive

WOODBURN was abuzz with activity as pre-school children dressed in their honey bee outfits joined in the fun of the annual Woodburn Riverside Festival at the weekend.

While there may have been some confusion about the difference between a bumblebee and a honey bee, it was clear that all the kids were excited to participate in the event.

For Cooper Vidler, 5, of Woodburn who was performing for the first time in front of a crowd it was a pivotal moment in his illustrious career as a bumblebee singer.

GALLERY: This year's Woodburn Riverside Festival

Rosie Reddoch, 4, of Broadwater won the fancy dress competition at the Woodburn River Festival which was themed around bees this year.
Rosie Reddoch, 4, of Broadwater won the fancy dress competition at the Woodburn River Festival which was themed around bees this year. Marc Stapelberg

Rosie Reddoch, 4, of Broadwater, ultimately won the fancy dress costume and understood the importance of bees.

"They make honey for us and we can actually watch them make that honey," the youngster said.

As part of the festival's honey bee theme, invited guest commercial beekeeper Colin Maloney spent the weekend sharing his knowledge with visitors.

Commercial beekeeper Colin Maloney’s display was among the attractions at the Woodburn festival.
Commercial beekeeper Colin Maloney’s display was among the attractions at the Woodburn festival. Marc Stapelberg

"We see it as an opportunity to promote the industry," he said.

"It allows the public to put a face on it and it is close and personal.

"It allows kids to get their nose right up to the glass without getting stung.

"It sucks adults and kids alike in."

Mr Maloney said that decreased access to public land was of increasing concern to the honey production industry.

"We need a lot of land and access is getting smaller all the time due to things like residential development and highway projects," he said.

While children were learning about beekeeping, wakeboarders were entertaining the crowd with their antics on the river, preparations were being made for the raft and biathlon races, and workers were gearing up for the fireworks display.

Lismore City Council genermal manager Gary Murphy got into the spirit of things by participating in a race across the river. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Lismore City Council genermal manager Gary Murphy got into the spirit of things by participating in a race across the river. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Event organiser Pam Bellingham said she was ecstatic with the turnout and the weather which put on clear sunny skies for the day.

"It is a wonderful day for the town and it also reminds people that Woodburn is a destination to come to, especially with the bypass being built," she said.

"We have seen approximately 1500 people through the day and we expect another 500 at the fireworks.

"Everything has run like clockwork."



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