MAKING FULL USE: Creativity abounds at the Wilmar Sugar Wearable Art Awards, one of the major highlights of the Great Barrier Reef Festival. Entries are now open for the Wearable Art Awards and Recyclable Regatta event.
MAKING FULL USE: Creativity abounds at the Wilmar Sugar Wearable Art Awards, one of the major highlights of the Great Barrier Reef Festival. Entries are now open for the Wearable Art Awards and Recyclable Regatta event. Andrew Pattinson/VAMPP

Get creative for Great Barrier Reef Festival events

DON'T let the kids drive you nuts this school holiday when instead they can get creative for two Great Barrier Reef Festival events.

Entries are now open for the festival's Wilmar Sugar Wearable Art Awards and Reef Gateway Hotel Recyclable Regatta, both of which provide platforms for imagination to shine.

The Wearable Art Awards are not so much about fashion that fits the body as the creation of art that walks.

Organiser Kirsten Orenshaw says using materials such as plastics, recycled objects, rope, wire, and repurposed clothing, makes wearable art the ultimate upcycling initiative.

"Some of the best wearable art we've seen makes you really think about what it's made of and with so much waste around it's good to highlight that recycled and repurposed materials can sometimes look much better than they originally did just through some creativity and thinking outside the box,” she said.

Entries are divided into age groups from 5-7, 8-10, 11-13, 14-16 years old, 16-plus and 18-plus, with themes of environment, cultural, avant-garde, and paper creations and 'accessorise' to choose from in each age range.

Prizes and special awards are up for grabs, with entrants judged not just on their chosen theme but also their use of materials, overall construction methods, inventive design and visual impact.

Judging takes place on Friday, August 2, with the costumes modelled on the Airlie Beach main street at 3pm on Saturday, August 3, before being entered to the Rotary Street Parade.

If wearable art doesn't float your boat, maybe making a raft from recycled materials will.

Battle for supremacy at sea in the Reef Gateway Hotel Recyclable Regatta.
Battle for supremacy at sea in the Reef Gateway Hotel Recyclable Regatta. Andrew Pattinson/VAMPP

Recyclable Regatta co-ordinator Andrea Farley says this Great Barrier Reef Festival event is the most easily accessible of those that connect the sea to the shore.

"It emphasises that we live on the water in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world and that we have a passion for maintaining our environment,” she said.

Plastic bottles, drums, sheeting and bamboo poles are all on the list of allowable materials to build a raft from, with insulation foam, water-based paints, parts of existing water craft and anything that might leach contaminants, all banned.

Rafts must be no larger than three-metres square and can be paddled using any type of oar by a maximum crew of three.

There are heats for children aged from 6-12 and an open category for ages 13-plus.

The battle for supremacy at sea will take place from the Airlie Beach foreshore around 1pm on Sunday, August 4.

Entry to both events is via www.greatbarrierreeffestival.com.au with entry to the Wearable Art Awards costing $5 and entry to the Recyclable Regatta free.

The 2019 Great Barrier Reef Festival from August 1-4 is proudly supported by Cruise Whitsundays.


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