Cr Gavin Jones toasted the launch of avocado smoothies with Blackbutt Avocado Festival vice president Les Lane and president Jeff Connor at this year’s Blackbutt Community Expo

July 31, 2019

Testing the general public’s reaction to avocado-based smoothies, mocktails and cocktails has turned up another winner for Blackbutt’s Avocado Festival.

At the second annual Community Expo held at the Blackbutt Memorial Hall recently, festival organisers took the opportunity to test several of their creations on a range of guests and stall-holders.

Their reward was an almost universal thumbs up from everyone who tried one (which was most people), and a double thumbs up from everyone who came back for seconds.

The discovery that an unlikely sounding combination of avocados and other ingredients whipped up in a blender could prove such a tasty brew was a bonus for Avocado Festival committee members, who said they were simply looking for a way to entertain visitors when they set up their stall.

The Expo, which was organised by Nev Lawrence, aimed to provide a way to showcase Blackbutt’s many community groups to new residents and recent retirees looking for productive ways to occupy their time.

In all, more than a dozen groups ranging from the Blackbutt-Yarraman QCWA to the newly formed Blackbutt Ping Pong Club took part.

They manned display tables set up around the Hall and were very happy to explain to potential new members what they did.

Many came armed with well-prepared brochures or flyers while others – such as the Timbertowns Woodworkers – were happy to let displays of their members’ work do the talking.

The Expo ran for five hours on a Saturday, and everyone spoke to said they were pleased they came.

The day provided a rare opportunity to showcase their groups and meet new people in a friendly environment, and in between they could chat with other stallholders or friends who dropped by.

The Avocado Festival also had a stand but helpers took over the Hall’s bar area to prepare the seemingly never-ending stream of smoothies.

The recipes were provided by Hazel Christie-Small, and they came in half a dozen non-alcoholic varieties and two adult varieties enlivened by vodka and tequila.

Cr Gavin Jones, who tried both types, said he was particularly impressed by a tequila-infused avocado cocktail but had to stop at one because he had to drive later that day.

“I reckon you’ll do very well with these at this year’s Festival,” he said.

President Jeff Connor said he would be pleased to add the new smoothies to the Festival’s food line-up when it’s held on September 14.

“I think the secret ingredient in these is Blackbutt avocados,” he said.

“Our recipes will work other varieties of avocados, but there’s nothing like home-grown ones to really pack a punch!”

Timbertown Woodworkers Marcia Blackford and Derek Ralph let members’ work do most of the talking at their eye-catching Expo stand
Blackbutt Singers members Maree Hammond, Judy Lawrence, Sharon Grant and Margaret De La Cruz were promoting their up-coming Proms concert in November … Judy’s husband Nev was the chief organiser of this year’s Expo
Warren Fleming and Delia Verhoef from the newly formed Blackbutt Ping Pong Club brought along a ping pong table so interested visitors could test their skills
Janelle and Laurie Hall and Sandra Ehrlich were promoting Blackbutt Helping Hands, which provides emergency relief for Timbertowners experiencing tough times
Denise Ryder, Marg Moult and Trish Jacobson, from the Blackbutt-Yarraman QCWA, showcased the different activities branch members are involved in
Jenny Gilliland, Erica Wingfield and Jackie Ross represented the Blackbutt Tennis Club and the Blackbutt and District Tourism and Heritage Association
Sean and Marti Dahlin loaned their daughters Mia, 13, and Xanthe, 12, to the Avocado Festival for
the day so they could help keep the avocado smoothies flowing steadily

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