Gracetown community rallies for Easter long weekend of events

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Gracetown swim organisers Jemma Rowe and Lorena Sumich.
Camera IconGracetown swim organisers Jemma Rowe and Lorena Sumich. Credit: Supplied

Gracetown is among the hottest destinations for residents this Easter with a full range of community events culminating in Saturday’s annual bay swim.

The Gracetown-Cowaramup Bay Community group is using this year’s events as a fundraiser for a nature-based playground at the coastal hamlet.

It follows action earlier this year seeking firm Shire of Augusta-Margaret River support for urgent works in the bay.

While Saturday’s bay swim was the signature event for the season, festivities start with a numberplate auction of much sought-after CBAY plates from 4.30pm.

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Co-organiser Jemma Rowe told the Times the long weekend offered GCBC a prime chance to fundraise, with the bay swim running continuously for 21 years.

“It’s a much-loved event and gets the Easter weekend off to a great start,” she said.

“Last year, we had 278 registered swimmers and 27 registered kids swimmers.

“It’s an all-abilities event. We have former Olympians through to people swimming with snorkels and fins and our swimmers range from eight to 90-plus.”

Among those swimming were expected to be Shire president Julia Meldrum and member for Warren-Blackwood Jane Kelsbie.

The three days of action continues on Saturday with the launch of Art in the Bay at Salter Street’s community hall.

The exhibition features local artists only, with many of their works for sale.

The hall is also ground zero for what the community group dubbed “the social event of the year,” with three musical performances open to the public from 6pm.

Michelle Spriggs, Megsy Garnett and Hippo Crush will take to the stage for the free event rounded out with pizza, wine and craft beers for sale on the night.

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