Gladstone turns it up on national television
MANY residents in the Gladstone region woke up extra early for their chance to appear on national breakfast television.
Channel 7 Sunrise weatherman Sam McMillan, aka Sam Mac, was in Gladstone this morning to present the weather on-location from the Auckland Point lookout.
Mayor Matt Burnett and Miss Universe Australia 2007 contestant and ambassador for the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race Kimberley Busteed also made an appearance during the live-cross.
Cr Burnett took the opportunity to announce a new Brisbane to Gladstone Village festival which will be held in conjunction with the yacht race.
"As we celebrate 71 years (of the race), we're going to have a seafood festival, a long lunch and a line honours party as part of our awesome weekend of festivals," he said.
The event will be held in conjunction with the Gladstone Harbour Festival that same weekend.
He was happy to see the large number of residents who woke up to represent their region on television - with some residents setting up camp since 4:30am.
"The community really got out and got involved," he said. "They want to celebrate their great region."
Members of community groups such as Gladstone Martial Arts, the Multicultural Association and the Boyne-Tannum Hookup also made an appearance during the weather presentation.
"Everyone was rallying to say how great Gladstone is," he said.
Seven-week-old Evelyn was even shown off on TV, with Sam holding the baby in his arms.
Mother Jennea Christensen said she wasn't expecting him to choose her.
"I was a little surprised but at the same time prepared," she said.
"He had a big smile on his face, happy to have a hold and a little cuddle."
GADPL CEO Darryl Branthwaite famously sang a rendition of Daryl Braithwaite's The Horses during Sam's last visit more than a year ago.
This time however, he was spared from singing another song - with producers opting to replay old footage instead.
Mr Branthwaite said it was wonderful for Channel 7's weather segment to come back to the Gladstone region.
"Today was a really good turnout," he said.
He pointed out how Gladstone being promoted in the national media could help change opinions about the region.
"I think seeing is believing," he said.
"Every bit of exposure like this across the nation is really cool because [it's] a beautiful place to live."
The visit isn't just a one off, with the tv crew now en route to visit Heron Island to feature it on tomorrow's show.
Mr Branthwaite highlighted the benefit of Sam broadcasting from the island.
"It's a premium place to holiday in the region," he said.
On air, Sam said it would be his first visit to the Heron Island and he was looking forward to watching turtles hatch and to experience the Great Barrier Reef first hand.