The 70th annual Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is now in full bloom and expected to draw bumper crowds to the Garden City over the next 10 days.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is attending the Grand Central Floral Parade again this year, said Australia’s longest-running floral event was a major tourism drawcard, injecting millions of dollars into the region’s economy every year.
“This is undoubtedly Australia’s greatest celebrations of horticulture, food, wine, music and local produce,” the Premier said.
“This year more than 180,000 seeds, bulbs and seedlings have been planted for this iconic Spring event which not only brings so much joy to generations of families but adds economic certainty to this farming region.
“The city and region should be extremely proud of this wonderful event.”
The Premier said the 70th Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers was an incredible milestone.
“To mark the 70th year, we’ve given some extra funding for the Carnival to feature a memorabilia display, including photographs, clippings and video footage of carnival highlights through the decades,” she said.
“No doubt this wonderful collection of items will give many people who have attended over the years fond memories of the fancy floats, carnival queens and spectacular gardens.
“All up my government is providing nearly half a million dollars in funding over three years for this event.”
The brainchild of Essex Tait and the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, the Carnival was created as a way for the city to use its “Garden City” reputation to promote increased economic activity following the hardships of WWII.
Since its inception in 1949, the Carnival of Flowers has attracted thousands of visitors each year to the region and is an integral part of Toowoomba’s cultural and economic identity.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said more than 255,000 people attended the Carnival last year.
“This event has grown from strength to strength in recent years and was last year entered into the Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame – a testament to the Carnival’s success,” she said. “We invest in major events that support local jobs and grow the economy in regional Queensland. The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers achieves just that.”
Ms Jones said southern Queensland welcomed a record 2.2 million domestic overnight visitors in the year ended March 2019 – up by 8.9 per cent year on year. Domestic visitor expenditure also grew by 28.5 per cent to a record $828.6 million. “The tourism industry is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to delivering jobs growth in Toowoomba,” Ms Jones said. “This Carnival is an icon and an important fixture for the local economy.
“We know that by 2020, this region will be recognised as Queensland’s premier country getaway destination – known for its distinct seasons and regional flavours.”