Toowoomba in Bloom- The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers 2018

September 18, 2018

Toowoomba is getting ready and will be in full bloom for the ten days of the iconic Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. Heading out to lunch with SheSociety’s Nanny Babe we met a lovely couple from Toowoomba. We began chatting and I asked them about the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. Our new friends told us that this event was not only about flowers.

Their favourite day was the Friday when the food and wine festival kicked off and for the youngsters of the town it was all about the music. They related stories of many generations of Queenslanders who visit the Carnival every year from all over the State. Visitors from all over Australia and beyond come to stay, eat, laugh and play, enjoying all this iconic event has to offer. Although the floral displays and activities delight the many visitors, it is clearly also a precious local event and provides a buzz for the many Queenslanders who live in this beautiful Garden City.

Famed as the country’s Best Major Festival or Event – The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers features award – winning gardens and parks, internationally acclaimed chefs, prized floral displays, amazing food and wine, park and pub tours and an extraordinary music and entertainment line up. This well- loved event kicks off on Friday 21 September and promises something for everyone.

Food and Wine Festival

Those in the know have told me Friday is the day to go if you can, as this is the start of the Heritage Bank Festival of Food and Wine. I can attest to the quality of food and wine after attending a launch event where the barbeque was cooked low and slow by the legendary Mikey Hilburger from Shank Brothers. (Yes, the famous ones who’ve filmed a TV Show in the USA). Guests enjoyed wines from the Lockyer Valley and I loved the Symphony Hill wines ( Ballandean). We sipped on Cook’s soft drinks in old fashioned flavours like Creaming Soda, Dad’s Old Style Double Sars and Ginger Beer and savoured some assorted Jim’s Jerky with exotic flavours including Teriyaki and Honey Soy (the kicking Peri- Peri was a favourite ), before sampling cheese platters made by local producers like Bunya Cheese. Bunya Black was a winner!

This year there will be two headline chefs- Adam Liaw – author, cook, host of ‘ Destination Flavour’ and winner of Masterchef 2010 and slow food chef -Julia Busuttil Nishimura. Julia will host a new event- The Chef’s Brunch on Sunday morning in the leafy gardens of Gip’s Restaurant.

This Festival promises visitors to Toowoomba cooking demonstrations, chef appearances and a taste of the world- famous flavours of Southern Queensland Country.

Entertainment

A stellar line -up of artists will be making their way up the range to entertain Carnival visitors- The Living End, The Church, Augie March, Chocolate Starfish, Cloud Control  and The Choirboys will be some of the bands playing under the Toowoomba stars. Soloists- Ali Barter and Kyle Lionhart will entertain, alongside the hits of yesteryear in the Dusty Springfield Show. Swing away with some of Australia’s leading stage and screen stars including Luke Kennedy and Ben Mingay in Swing On This.

SheSociety’s favourite Science Show – Brain Buzz will be presenting two live shows on Saturday 29th September at Laurel Bank Park. Great for the kids! Sideshow Alley also brings all the fun of the fair.

Pooches are not forgotten with the new Petals and Pups program which boasts 30 dog friendly activities, 27 off leash parks and 20 human and hound accommodation stays. A great new initiative!

FLOWERS and more Flowers!

One can’t forget that the main attraction is always the flowers, this year led by multi- award winning garden designer, author and commentator Jim Fogarty. He will be joined by much – loved landscape architect from ‘The Block’, Dave Franklin, and 2019 Sunshine Coast Contestants-Norm Hogan and Jess Eva.

A stunning new event will be the Night Garden based in Queen’s Park. The Night Garden is a magical creation featuring floral and lighting displays and experiences. It will be held over five nights from 26 to 30 September.

The 69th Grand Central Parade will be held on September 22 and features over 70 floral – themed  floats and is expected to attract more than 100, 000 spectators. The theme this year is ‘ Secret Garden’ so expect some amazing creations.

This is Australia’s largest floral show with a whopping 1,181 hectares of gardens, parks and garden tours to explore. You can check out the show gardens, amazing parks and public spaces throughout the city and the program of tours by visiting tcof.com.au .

For a blooming beautiful day out filled with fun, flowers, food and legendary country hospitality head to the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. The best bit is that it’s only 90 minutes away from Brisbane. The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers takes root with the Qantas Gala Dinner under the stars at Laurel Park on Thursday night and will showcase the beauty of the region until the 30 September. A perfect way to enjoy Queensland’s glorious Spring weather.

Michelle Beesley
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.

Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).