Squid festival plan inked

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times
Email Jackson Lavell-Lee
Siesta Park Director and keen fisherman Greg Tickle shows Busselton Jetty Inc's Rowena Trott and Carina McMillon how to hook a squid off the city's iconic attraction.
Camera IconSiesta Park Director and keen fisherman Greg Tickle shows Busselton Jetty Inc's Rowena Trott and Carina McMillon how to hook a squid off the city's iconic attraction.

Organisers of a new Busselton event hope to hook into the success of the Mandurah Crab Fest and lure visitors to the region during the off-peak period.

Busselton Jetty SquidFest will be held in March.

Billed as an interactive food and wine experience, the one-day festival will combine marine-based activities and the region’s gourmet produce.

The festival’s namesake, squid, will take centrestage on the jetty from which it is famously caught.

Festival-goers will be able to try freshly caught squid and learn cooking skills from live demonstrations. The festival will also include live music, a children’s entertainment zone, competitions, and aquatic entertainment.

Busselton Jetty chief executive Lisa Shreeve said she hoped the SquidFest would become as popular as the Crab Fest, which attracted 100,000 people to Mandurah’s foreshore.

“Busselton Jetty Inc is excited to be able to work with the community to develop a unique festival focusing on something caught at the jetty nearly every day — our beloved squid,” she said. “It would be great to teach families how to catch squid from the jetty using local fishermen’s techniques and special bait, and show them ways to cook it using recipes passed down from generation to generation.”

“I often think of Forrest Gump when he spoke about shrimp and how you could barbecue it, boil it, saute it and create shrimp kebabs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo, pan-fry it, deep-fry, stir-fry — well you can just about do all of this with squid too, so we want to celebrate this.”

Ms Shreeve said the festival was timed to attract people to the region during a quieter period and would hopefully lead to improved visitor retention, increased spend, and stabilisation of visitation outside the summer months.

Siesta Park Holiday Resort director Greg Tickle said new events that brought families to the region were always welcome. “I caught a squid just the other day and it’s an inclusive type of fishing — anyone can do it,” he said.

“I hope the festival can grow in popularity and bring more people to visit during non-school holiday periods and stay in our city’s established accommodation providers.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails