This is your official invitation to the most beautiful day of the year – Floral Friday, September 20, the first day of the 70th Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers!
Friday 20 September is the day and it signals the beginning of 10 glorious days of celebration, featuring more than 1100 hectares of public parks and private gardens shining with over 180,000 bulbs and seedlings in full bloom, a record 77 events (up from 66 last year), internationally-acclaimed music acts and some of the best food and wine experiences in the state.
Floral Friday is also the start of the Heritage Bank Festival of Food & Wine in Queens Park which stars over 50 dining and wine stalls celebrating local and regional flavours, cooking demonstrations by super chef, Adrian Richardson, garden design talks by Dave Franklin of Nine’s The Block fame as well as beer, BBQ and cheese tastings and master classes and incredible floral installations created by the reigning Interflora World Cup champion and five-time Australian Florist of the Year, Brisbane-based Bart Hassam.
The music line-up features some of the freshest music acts in the country! Headliners for the night are Sydney indie rock band Middle Kids. They performed their debut single “Edge of Town” on US talk show Conan and it has since been streamed on Spotify over 5 million times. This was followed by appearances on The Late Late Show with James Corden and Jimmy Kimmel Live! Be front and centre for their show – only on Floral Friday.
Also performing will be Pink Matter, the all-female neo-soul four piece from Brisbane taking the local music scene by storm, followed by Sloan Peterson, who describes her sound as ‘surf-pop’. Having recently opened for The Kooks tour, she is one fabulous female not to be missed.
On Saturday the program opens with famed hip hop, blues, soul and dance music makers Electrik Lemonade, before powerhouse tribute band Queen Forever followed by internationally acclaimed ABBA tribute group Bjorn Again.
On Sunday the program features Brisbane’s Cheap Fakes, iconic Australian band Dragon, the inaugural Carnival Choir of 800 voices and then the man himself John Farnham will perform in front of an expected capacity crowd.
Floral Friday also means the launch of the Toowoomba Exhibition Gardens, with four specially-selected gardens featured; and The Chronicle Garden Competition with city and country gardens on display for free. The only hard part is choosing which gardens to see. Pick up a guide to all the gardens on show to plan your perfect Floral Friday itinerary.
Thrill seekers will be excited to know that Sideshow Alley opens on Floral Friday. After a full day of flowers and feasting, set your reminders for 5pm to head down to Lower Queens Park for some adrenaline-filled rides before the breathtaking fireworks display lights up the Toowoomba skies at 8.30pm.
There’s a host of other experiences, including:
- Highfields Steampunk Festival
- Downlands Art Exhibition
- Morning and Afternoon Gardens Tours
- Cabbie Capers Parks and Gardens Tours
- Toowoomba Sightseeing Tours
- Australian Getaway Tours
- Toowoomba Clivia Society Annual Show
- Native Orchid Society of Toowoomba Spring Show
- Toowoomba Bonsai Group Annual Show
- Hanging Basket Display
- Quilts, Stitches & Textiles Trail
- Nature Observed
- St Luke’s Flower & Music Festival
- St James Church Stained Glass Windows & Floral Display
- St Patrick’s Cathedral Floral Display
- And don’t forget the Grand Central Floral Parade on Saturday 21 September.
“Spring is coming, and that means Australia turns its eyes to Toowoomba for the best event in the country. Gardeners across the city have been planning and planting over the past months to ensure everything blooms in a perfectly timed carpet of colour for the expected 250,000 locals and visitors who celebrate with us, and importantly it means a focus on local flavours. Floral Friday is the kick-off, so take a day off, and join us for an extraordinary celebration, making the 70th anniversary of the Carnival,” Toowoomba Regional Councillor Geoff McDonald said.
“What makes Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers so special is that there is so much to experience – if you love emerging music, we have that. If you are a gardener, we have plenty. If you are a foodie, then prepare for flavour overload. If you love a low and slow BBQ with a beer to match, that’s easy. If you are here for gardening tips and tricks, then take a seat. If wine is your thing, then choose a colour. If you want to learn the history of our classic pubs, take in a steam train ride, experience a Tombstone Tour, be wowed by an amazing teapot exhibition or be surrounded by hanging flower baskets, then we also have all that.”
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers: September 20 to 29, 2019
Tour detail at https://www.tcof.com.au/touroperators/
Accommodation detail at https://www.tcof.com.au/accommodation/