It’s the festival we all need right now!
This is your official invitation to the most beautiful day of the year – Floral Friday, September 18, the first official day of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers!
Floral Friday signals the beginning of 10 glorious days of COVID Safe celebrations, featuring over 170,000 blooms across Toowoomba’s parks and public spaces, the new region-wide food trail #trEATS, the dog-friendly Petals and Pups program, chalk art in Queens Park, the static Grand Central Floral Parade in Grand Central Shopping Centre, Rowes light shows at night, guided and non-guided walking tours, the Cobb + Co Museum and the much-loved floral group displays. 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 and flavours of the region.
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!
- The Night Garden will be free and unfenced this year at the Botanic Gardens, open for 10 nights from 18 to 27 September.
- An absolute favourite, 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, local chalk artists are bringing their talent to Queens Park Botanic Gardens as part of the new Artists-in-Residence program each weekend in September. The program includes:
· Saturday 19 September, 10am to 2pm: Alex Stalling
· Saturday 26 September, 10am to 2pm: Stacey Blinco
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 35 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.
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!
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! Meet Rambo on Saturday 26 September in Laurel Bank Park from 9am to 9.45am and in the Botanic Gardens of Queens Park from 10am to 10.45am!
Bromeliad and Clivia displays
One location will see two magnificent horticultural displays from Saturday 19 with Toowoomba Bromeliad Society and Toowoomba Clivia Society joining together this year. The Annual showcase of bromeliads, flowering clivias, succulents and foliage is not to be missed for garden enthusiasts. Doors open 8am each day from Saturday 19 through to Monday 21 at Sacred Heart Primary School Hall, corner of North and Tor Streets Toowoomba
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.
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