Countdown officially on for the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

Queensland’s invited to Play in the Petals this Spring

Over 170,000 blooms are set to take centre stage across Toowoomba’s parks and public spaces during September, creating a spectacular canvas of colour for celebrating the iconic Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

While the program has been adjusted to ensure all experiences are COVID-19 safe, the city is ready to welcome Queenslanders to play in the petals and explore some of the hidden places, flavours and colourful personalities of the region.

The 2020 program features more than 30 events and activations with 20 local tour departures ready to go. This includes the new region-wide food trail #trEATS, as well as the popular Talking Pub and Foodie Dinner Tours, chalk art in Queens Park, Rowes light shows at night, guided and non-guided walking tours, as well as Cobb + Co Museum and the much-loved floral group displays.

Play in the Petals: parks and public spaces

  • The floral line-up at the Botanic Gardens in Queens Park and Laurel Bank Park features Alyssum, Antirrhinum (Snapdragon), Bellis, Calendula, Candytuft, Cherianthus, Chrysanthemum, Cineraria, Delphinium, Dianthus, Digitalis (Foxglove), Dutch Iris, Hollyhock, Larkspur, Linaria, Lobelia, Mesembryanthemum, Nemesia, Ornamental Kale, Pansy, Parsley, Petunia, Polyanthus, Poppy, Primula, Ranunculus, Rhodanthes, Schoenia, Statice, Stocks, Sweet Pea, Tulips and Viola. Council gardeners promise a kaleidoscope of colour!
  • Twilight Tours of Laurel Bank Park will take place mid-week, hosted by the Toowoomba Regional Council Parks and Recreation team. Tickets at www.tcof.com.au
  • The Night Garden powered by Ergon Energy will be free and unfenced this year at the Botanic Gardens, open for 10 nights from 18 to 27 September.
  • An absolute favourite for thousands, the Ferris Wheel at the Botanic Gardens will operate for 10 days from 18 to 27 September, providing the best way to see the splendour of Queens Park!

 Chalk Art in The Park: Botanic Gardens at Queens Park

While musical entertainment in the parks cannot go ahead because of Government guidelines, four local chalk artists will bring their talent to Queens Park Botanic Gardens as part of the new Artists-in-Residence program each weekend in September. The program includes:

  • Saturday 5 September, 10am to 2pm: Kristy Richardson
  • Saturday 12 September, 10am to 2pm: Mary-Kate Thomson
  • Saturday 19 September, 10am to 2pm: Alex Stalling
  • Saturday 26 September, 10am to 2pm: Stacey Blinco

Grand Central Floral Parade!

In a wonderful creative twist, the famous Grand Central Floral Parade will become a static installation of decorated floats throughout Grand Central Shopping Centre in the heart of the city. The static Parade of Colour this September school holidays, will reflect the city’s incredible community spirit.

To celebrate 71 years since the first parade made its way through the city, the Itty-Bitty Grand Central Floral Parade, featuring miniature floats, will take place as a virtual parade at 3pm on Saturday 19 September!

*In a wonderful show of support, Brodrib Nursing Home are staging their own parade, with residents decorating their wheelchairs with flowers, and watching the Itty-Bitty Grand Central Floral Parade as a group event.

Introducing #trEATS

New to 2020 is a region-wide food trail called #trEATS aimed at celebrating the amazing array of ‘eats’ available in the Toowoomba Region.  More than 60 local flavour-makers have signed up from across the region, each offering a $20 springtime #trEAT on their menu during September, inspired by the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. The full list is at tcof.com.au.

Petals and Pups 2020!

This pawsome program boasts more than 20 dog-friendly activities, and showcases 27 off-leash parks, as well as dog-friendly cafes, restaurants and accommodation recommendations – details at TCOF.com.au. The official dog-friendly program for Carnival salutes Toowoomba’s first canine Ambassadog, ‘Puppy’ the Pomeranian who led the Toowoomba Thistle Band in the first parade in 1950.

Say Hi to the 2020 Ambassadog – Rambo

The second ever Ambassadog in 71 years has been named! Rambo, an eight-month-old, tricolour, pure-bred Australian Shepherd, will proudly fly the canine flag this year! He loves visiting the Toowoomba parks and, like lots of millennials, he loves having his photo taken, so if you see him during Carnival, say hi!

 Foodie Tours!

  • Talking Pubs Tour – hugely popular each year, these tours feature Bar Wunder, Muller Bros, Irish Club Hotel and George Banks rooftop bistro.
  • Foodie Dinner Tour – a modern progressive dinner around Toowoomba, there’s two to choose from this year: Tour 1 goes to the Cobb+Co Museum, Inbound at the Toowoomba historic railway station and Gip’s restaurant while Tour 2 goes to Café Valetta overlooking Queens Park, Charred atop the Toowoomba range and Kingfisher Café.

 Walking Tours

With a distinct architecture focus in 2020, the Walking Tour program will include: Parks Tours, Laneways and Street Art Tour, The Dark Side Walking Tour, Architecture Styles Tour and 150 Years of Rail Walk & Talk Tour.

Rowes Carnival of Light Shows

The entire front of the Rowes building will come to life during Carnival with spectacular animations celebrating a Symphony of Spring – magical garden gnomes with flowers the size of buildings, giant bees, butterflies and lady birds, dancing crepe myrtle trees, thousands of tiny flowers sprouting and blooming and a giant oak tree that grows and delivers dancing gnomes to the party! The light shows will happen nightly at 6.30pm and 9pm from September 18 to 27 September at 58 Russell Street, and it’s free.

Community Events

Community groups and floral group display events will again enable locals and visitors to choose their own experiences. The full list of community events is available at tcof.com.au

 

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers 2020

18 to 27 September 2020

See tcof.com.au for more.

 

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers – A History

Since its inception in 1949, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has flourished and is now an iconic Queensland event.  The brainchild of Essex Tait and the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, Carnival was introduced as a way for the city to use its “Garden City” reputation to promote increased economic activity following the hardships of war. On 21 October, 1950 the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers commenced with a street procession that stretched three miles in length. Led by a bullock team and watched by a crowd estimated to be 50,000 strong, it was a resounding success, as it has been ever since.

 

Awards and Accolades

Gold winner 2019 Queensland Tourism Award for Destination Marketing

State Finalist 2019 Australian Tourism Awards for Destination Marketing

Australian Tourism Hall of Fame Inductee 2018 Major Festivals & Events

Queensland Tourism Hall of Fame Inductee 2017 Major Festivals & Events

Gold winner 2018, 2017, 2016 Australian Tourism Award for Major Festivals & Events

Gold winner 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 Queensland Tourism Award for Major Festivals & Events

Most Supportive Community Event 2017 Queensland Wine Awards

Event category Winner 2015 Parks & Leisure Australia Awards of Excellence

Gold winner 2014 Queensland Tourism Awards for Festivals and Events

 

For more information contact Kath Rose & Associates on 0416 291 493 or kath@kathrose.com