Micks will headline community carnival
COUNTRY singer Michaela Cook recently released a song to give hope to the people of the Whitsundays as they struggled with a marathon recovery after Cyclone Debbie.
And now, she's returning to the region to entertain and inspire hundreds of locals running the Airlie Beach Triathlon.
Brisbane-based Michaele, or Micks as she is known, said she was hoping to reconnect with "everyone who I met the first time".
Her new single 'Everything Will Be Alright' was especially written for the cyclone-devastated region and has already received more than 250,000 hits on Facebook and YouTube.
Next month, she will headline the Friday night entertainment at the Airlie Beach Triathlon Community Carnival with a "fun, upbeat" acoustic set that will feature her new song.
"I'm excited to come back up and excited to play, and excited to be back with everyone who I met," she said.
Micks added that while she wouldn't be competing in Sunday's big race, she was looking forward to cheering for competitors across the various races.
"I think this will be good community event to get people together (and) I definitely think it's another show of the community coming together and taking steps to move forward, rather than dwelling on the past," she said.
Airlie Beach Triathlon Community Carnival organiser Stephen Jackson said this was the first time the triathlon, now in its 19th year, had been organised with carnival-related events.
Mr Jackson said the Whitsundays were a great location for the races and he believed the addition this year of a carnival and ocean swim would give people from afar even more reason to make the journey and participate.
"We want to showcase the area. The event is a not-for-profit race, giving people a chance to do the triathlon while at the same time showing off Airlie Beach as a beautiful spot to do it," he said.
The carnival atmosphere will kick off on Friday, September 1, with Micks playing at 5.45pm and 7.20pm, fireworks at 7.55pm and food trucks, live music, jumping castle and a mechanical bull as part of the festivities from 5pm-8pm. All entertainment is based on a gold coin donation which is given to Ronald McDonald House, Queensland.
The event races, sponsored by Colorbond, will start from Saturday, September 2, with ocean swims from 8.30am, the junior triathlon from 2.30pm and a movie for children from 5.30pm.
On Sunday, September 3, from 7am, the enticer and sprint triathlons will be held. The enticer race is: 300m swim, 10km ride, and 2.5km run; and the sprint distance is: 750m swim, 20km ride, and 5km run.
WHAT: Airlie Beach Triathlon event
WHERE: Airlie Beach
WHEN: Friday, September 1, 5-8pm
COST: Gold coin donation