Festival adds surprise element

Robert DoughertyBroome Advertiser
Shinju Matsuri drummers taking part in the event in 2016.
Camera IconShinju Matsuri drummers taking part in the event in 2016. Credit: Steve Cutts

One of the Kimberley’s biggest festivals has finally arrived, with the 47th year of Shinju Matsuri taking centrestage in Broome this weekend.

Crowds will gather for 10 days of fantastic “festival of the pearl” events, kicking off with an opening ceremony and the awakening of resident dragon Sammy outside Sun Pictures theatre on Carnarvon Street at 5pm on Saturday.

New performers and the town’s pearling industry will also be on display this year.

Among the new additions are the Make Smoking History Pearl Harvest Party from 4pm at Dampier Terrace on Sunday, including free pearl lugger tours, and the Willie Creek Pearl Meat Cook Off with MasterChef’s Tamara Graffen a guest judge.

Shinju Matsuri president Chris Maher said the event welcomed pearler Bruce Brown as the Shinju patron for 2017 and encouraged visitors to chat with locals about the festival and Broome’s history.

“This year’s festival promises to delight and surprise everyone,” he said. “With new events for the whole family and sell-out favourites such as the Sunset Long Table this is going to be a Shinju you won’t forget.

“Additional events to watch out for are the new Yawuru language courses held at the Shinju Matsuri info booth in the Roey carpark from Monday to Thursday.

“These free courses will teach you simple Yawuru vocabulary as well as talk through the cultural context of the language and words.” Firm favourites are returning, with the float parade travelling from Broome Civic Centre to Dampier Terrace on Sunday at 3pm, MCd by Spirit Radio’s Tom Jordinson, while the Shinju Art Awards will be on show at Broome Civic Centre throughout the week.

Sammy the dragon dances down Broome streets for Shinju Matsuri.
Camera IconSammy the dragon dances down Broome streets for Shinju Matsuri. Credit: Steve Cutts

Other highlights include a Mardi Gras concert with internationally acclaimed Japanese Taiko Drummers, a free Western Australian Opera concert at the Cable Beach Amphitheatre from 8pm on September 8 and a Re-imagining Australia exhibit at BCC.

Darren Robertson, My Kitchen Rules judge
Camera IconDarren Robertson, My Kitchen Rules judge Credit: Supplied

Three Blue Ducks and My Kitchen Rules judge Darren Robertson, who has been secured for the Sunset Long Table, said Broome had always been on his must-visit list.

“Broome has been on my list to go to since I came to Australia and I am super excited to be working with the Shinju Matsuri team on this fantastic event,” he said.

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

Sign up for our emails