GALLERY: The Narooma Booma raft races

The Narooma Booma Maytime Festival was the brainchild of Darryl and Kristen Stuart and included a full week of ongoing activities around Narooma.

The festival was held during the first week of the May School holidays and it ran in 1984 and 1985.

At the time there were no other festivals, although Daryl Stuart said that he had heard there was a festival of some sort more than 20 years previously.

The Stuart’s thought May was a great month to hold the event because of the visitors that came to town from Victoria for the May Bowling Carnival.

“We thought the festival would give back to the people, especially the visitors, something in return for the pleasure they give us in town,” Darryl said.

The seven day program included a Fisherama – a fishing competition that ran over the seven days starting with registration at 9am with the daily weigh in at 5pm.

The Fisherama offered prizes for the biggest fish of a variety of species.

Throughout the festival there was a Window Spotting competition, where participating shops displayed an eye symbol and the contestants had to spot the object that was out of place in the shop window. There were cash prizes and gift vouchers for the winners with the prizes drawn at a monster market held on the Saturday.

The Narooma Booma Festival also held a surfing competition, a fun run, a sailboard classic from Montague Island, a Clap-a-Thong, an Aqua Bike Rodeo, a street parade, golf and bowls competitions, kid’s days on the beach and a huge Raft-A-Rama where contestants built a raft and raced it from Bar Beach to the Narooma Bridge.

Various other activities including dances, tours, cash golf shots, raffles and markets were spread over the week.

One year there was a billy cart derby that ran from the primary school down to Rotary Park.

Unfortunately the Narooma Booma Festival only ran for two years.

“It was an enormous amount of work organising the festival,” Kristen said.

“I was pregnant and Darryl had started his fishing charter business and we had trouble finding someone to take it over,” she said.

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