If laughter is the best medicine, then Ballinas Rivafest this weekend is a veritable cure-all.
You can start with a few lessons in the art of belly laughing with Brianna Slatterys free Laughter Yoga workshops all part of the fun at the annual Rivafest, which runs this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 10-12.
Laughter Yoga is all about having fun in the company of others and I think thats what festivals are all about, said Brianna, so it should really fit in with the whole atmosphere and spread a positive vibe throughout Rivafest.
Briannas Laughter Yoga sessions are on Saturday and Sunday at Fawcett Park three sessions a day with no number limits, as its the more the merrier.
The laughs continue with Circus Rivafest under the big top where Mr In-Between will have the crowd in stitches while tight rope world record holder, Ashley Brophy and his wife Rochelle, a classical ballet dance, will amaze the crowd with their breathtaking aerial and trapeze antics.
Cricus Rivafest will open the festival on the Friday night, followed by two shows daily on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15/10 or $40 for a family, and for those feeling brave, you can join a circus workshop and learn a few party tricks.
On Saturday the Ballina foreshore comes alive with market stalls, childrens art making, cooking and barista competitions, and loads of other free activities for the whole family.
But Rivafest is not just for families, said Ballina Shire Councils tourism and development manager, Liz Shepherd. We have made an effort to include loads of youth orientated entertainment in the Xtreme Zone on both Saturday and Sunday where there will be professional skateboard demonstrations and DJ competitions. Plus there are exotic events like Cuisine in the Casbah that is set in a huge Moroccan-themed marquee on the riverbank.
Cuisine in the Casbah is on Saturday night, and for $50 you get a night of entertainment with live music from Raz Bin Sam and Lion I band accompanied by tantalising Moroccan cuisine.
Sunday all eyes will be on the Richmond River where members of the Kawaihae Outrigger Canoe Club will compete with the business community in a corporate challenge. Also on Sunday will be an adrenaline-charged display of high speed boating when the Thundercats take to the water.
Those wanting their water sports at a slower pace can check out the famous Rotary Duck Race, embark on a sailing trip or try kayaking along the Richmonds waterways.
Rivafests spectacular finale on Sunday night includes a masquerade opera followed by a stunning fireworks display that will light up the night sky above the river. People are encouraged to come masked for this free public event (make one at the mask workshop if you dont have one at home), where opera singers will perform a selection of songs from The Pirates of Penzance, Jekyll and Hyde and Phantom of the Opera.
I think there will be different highlights for different people, said Liz of the wide variety of events, but personally I cant wait for the opera and the fireworks. Its going to be spectacular!
To book tickets or get more info phone 1800 777 666 or download a full program from www.ballinarivafest.com.au.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.