Residents and tourists alike celebrated the wonderful community that is Onslow over the weekend as the biennial Passion of the Pilbara festival took over Thalanyji Oval.

The theme of this year’s festival was “love where you live” and the enthusiasm the 1500-odd people in attendance had for the small town could not be missed.

The festivities kicked off on Friday night with local Karratha musician Ben Mullen, popular musical duo Bryan and Pete, and the Pilbara’s own Brad Hall band entertaining the crowds.

Shire of Ashburton president Kerry White. Picture: Pilbara News
Bradley Hall performs. Picture: Pilbara News

Saturday morning brought MasterChef to Onslow, as past contestants Ben Bullock and Liliana Battle cooked up a storm in the Community Garden and hosted cooking demonstrations in the culinary pavilion throughout the afternoon.

From noon, the oval was once again transformed into festival central, with plenty of stalls, activities, roving entertainers, live music, food and, of course, free rides.

The main stage was set up so the party goers could enjoy the newly redeveloped Sports Club whilst still being in the middle of the action.

On Saturday night, music returned to the stage and former INXS frontman Jon Stevens whipped the crowd in to a frenzy as he played a show jam-packed full of hits such a Suicide Blonde and Never Tear Us Apart, plus other classics from Noiseworks.

Former INXS frontman Jon Stevens performs. Picture: Pilbara News
A Wanna Play? host teaches kids how to make bubbles. Picture: Pilbara News

The event was organised by the Shire of Ashburton and was made possible due to support from festival partner, the Chevron-operated Wheatstone Project. Shire president Kerry White said the festival was a celebration of Onslow’s vibrant community.

“This year was no exception and it showcased the many opportunities and activities that Onslow has to offer,” she said.

Passion of the Pilbara will return to Onslow in two years, with the event always held every second year so funding could be channelled into one big event, rather than a smaller annual event.

Famous Sharron and Chevron Wheatstone plant manager Nigel Comerford at the Passion of the Pilbara festival in Onslow. Picture: Pilbara News, Shannon Beattie
Fairy Cindy, Fairy Sky and Fairy Bonnie. Picture: Pilbara News, Shannon Beattie