Ink your diary for 23 and 24 October when a new festival celebrating the humble Squid jigs into Busselton.

Squid Fest will celebrate all the best bits about this intriguing Cephalopod with a program of events themed around water, wind, earth and fire on and around the Busselton foreshore in Western Australia’s South West.

Expect squid fishing competitions (with a cash prize), education and clinics, giant sea creature kite flying, south west sea and land food and wine sampling and demonstrations featuring cooking over fire, squid kids’ activities, live entertainment and more.

Festival co-director Jill Barton said the idea for Squid Fest came from a chance stroll along the 1.8km Busselton Jetty one evening with her husband.

“The jetty was marked with black splotches at regular intervals and it wasn’t until we saw someone fishing for squid that we realised the marks were squid ink.

“Asking around, we learnt what a prolific and interesting creature they are, and we thought it was about time they got some celebratory recognition.

“We put our feelers out, and as it turns out there was a healthy appetite for a festival combining food, fishing, education, entertainment and we can’t wait to share our new appreciation for squid with others,” she said.

Squid, or Southern Calamari, can be found along the south coast of Australia, but are particularly prolific around Geographe Bay where the sheltered, shallow water and seagrass beds provide a perfect habitat. They grow extremely quickly and live for less than 18 months on average, making them a highly sustainable species.

The program will feature Friday night food and wine events, entertainment and learn-to-squid clinics; and on Saturday, visitors will enjoy a cheery south west culinary marketplace and entertainment on the Busselton Foreshore, squidding contests for kids and adults, and a colourful sea creature kiting display.

More information will be available closer to the event so organisers recommend signing up to the Squid Fest database at www.squidfest.com.au and follow the event on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest news. You’d be a sucker not to be there!

Squid Fest is made possible thanks to City of Busselton, Busselton Jetty and Recfishwest.