After Broome breathed a sigh of relief for the highly anticipated 50th anniversary Shinju Matsuri festival still going ahead, organisers have released a jam-packed program for the eight-day festival of the pearl. While the planned, extended festival would not be going ahead, Shinju Matsuri president Chris Maher there will still be plenty to enjoy between August 29 and September 6. “We were going to have extra days for the 50th but then that was stopped due to COVID-19,” he said. “Now that we’re back up and running, we’ve decided to keep it at the same length as previous festivals and it will be the same events from the program except for the A View to Asia exhibition because people really need a lot longer than seven weeks to put together a large sculpture. “We’re now furiously working with community groups to having a range of community events as well so there would be some sort of film festival once again along with a number of events with Nyamba Buru Yawuru and Broome Speedway.” Another notable change to the program was the Shinju Matsuri Festival Hub moving from Chinatown to Town Beach. Maher said he wanted to have a focus on the newly revitalised Town Beach area that looks “bloody amazing”. “Before when we were on the edge of Chinatown but this year we have chosen to have the hub located in a bigger area that has also become a nice place to visit,” he said. “There will be a whole range of activities within the hub. “There will be a few arts workshops, we’re hoping to have a pop-up bar there as well as stages so we can have some local entertainment as well. “We’ve got a couple of our board members working towards having a mahjong station so people can come down and play mahjong. “Essentially we’re looking at holding a whole range of activities for people to come into the precinct.” The Shinju Matsuri festival is also expected to welcome several special guests to Broome, including celebrity chef Anna Gare, left, and former MasterChef contestant Derek Lau. Fellow former MasterChef contestant and former Broome boy Brendan Pang is also set to make his return.