Town Beach in Port Macquarie is set to come alive for the inaugural Ride the Wave Festival this weekend (June 18-20).
Make a Difference Port Macquarie founder Erin Denham has been busily organising the charity fundraising event.
"We have been running our charity Make a Difference for close to four years now and have been wanting to hold an event like this for a while but with the bushfires and then Covid, we had to hold off," she said.
The Ride the Wave Festival aims to be a drawcard for people to visit the Mid North Coast and experience everything the area has to offer.
"We want it to be like the Surfest in Newcastle. Our inaugural event will be held over three days, but we're hoping over the next few years to expand it and hold it over a week each year," Erin said.
The festival will have something for everyone, from the surfing and skateboarding competition, live music, a film and photography contest, battle of the band contest, market stalls, food vendors and a family fun zone.
"It's going to be a very family orientated and youth focused event. We've put our own spin into this type of festival by having the live entertainment as well as the surfing and skateboarding competitions," Erin said.
The festival's main event is the surf competition which is in partnership with Surfing NSW, Port Macquarie Surf Board Riders Club, Mid North Coast Girls Surf Riders and Port Macquarie Surf School.
"We're hoping the event will draw people to our area and provide a boost for the tourism and arts sectors who have been doing it tough due to Covid.
"We've already had 90 competitors register across the surfing and skateboarding competitions and they're coming from everywhere, so there is a wide reach for the event."
All of the funds raised through the festival will go directly to Make a Difference Port Macquarie.
The local charity is run by volunteers and their mission is to support disadvantaged and marginalised people on the Mid North Coast.
Each year the group set fundraising goals to allow them to continue their work. In 2020 their mobile food van assisted in delivering a food service to people living rough on the streets while also assisting with bushfire relief in Willawarrin.
This year the group's goal is to focus on the coffee machine fit out and maintenance of the van while maintaining their commitment to those living rough and providing additional emergency flood assistance where needed.
"We're raising the funds from this event to purchase a food trailer so we can continue providing food support to the homeless," Erin said.
Ride the Wave aims to raise over $20,000.
"We have been overwhelmed with the support from local businesses over the past four years and they've come on board for this event as well.
"The tourism sector is crying out for events and we hope that this festival will provide a boost for the area."
The Ride the Wave Festival will run from today (Friday) through until Sunday.
Visit the Make a Difference Port Macquarie website for more information.
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