Bravo for 30 days of flowers and flavours!
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers generates over $22 million in direct and incremental spend and 155,000 visitor nights as city applauds
The numbers are in and it’s a standing ovation for Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers! The first ever month-long program, a change from the traditional 10-day event, has reaped significant rewards for the region.
Chair of the Toowoomba Regional Council Environment and Community Services Committee Cr James O’Shea said data from Tourism and Events Queensland showed more than $22 million in direct and incremental spend during the month, significantly up on the $10.35 million figure for 2020. 155,000 visitor nights were generated during the event and aattendance topped 284,758, up from 214,217 in 2020, and on par with 2019 figures.
“This year we staged Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers over the full 30 days of September, a welcome extension of the historical 10-day event. It allowed more people to spend more time in the parks, public spaces and gardens, to taste the flavours of the region and to stay a little longer. This has absolutely worked, with the event spending impact at more than $22 million, and 155,000 visitor nights recorded, as well as 123% increase on crowd numbers from 2020!” he said.
“Our highly successful COVID-Safe format of TCOF has become the blueprint for change and success.”
Other results included:
- The Botanic Gardens in Queens Park welcomed 180,976 visitors across the official 30-day program with Laurel Bank Park welcoming 84,722 visitors. Parkland entertainment featured local musical talent and chalk artists every weekend.
- The seven Talking Pubs foodie tours were sold out, seeing 167 foodies walk their way to four CBD pubs – The Brewhouse, Bar Wunder, Norville Hotel and George Banks. In addition, almost 100 dinner enthusiasts enjoyed the Foodie Dinners which showcased Kingfisher Café, Urban Grounds Restaurant, Gip’s Restaurant, Cobb+Co Museum’s Carriage Room, Inbound Restaurant and The Finch on the Range.
- Night Garden powered by Ergon Energy Retail attracted 8,940 visitors from 6pm to 8.30pm across the 30-night program.
- Laurel Bank Park’s Twilight Tours delighted locals and visitors after dark with five sold out tours!
- The Festival of Food and Wine, Toowoomba’s number one social event of the year, returned in 2021, albeit a little smaller in capacity (COVIDSafe density measures), and celebrated local flavours and sounds.
- The Grand Central Floral Parade returned to the original street format with a new and earlier time of 10am. Sixty nine entrants and 1,464 people walked the parade route to capacity crowds.
- Over 1,500 movie enthusiasts flocked to Toowoomba and Drayton Cemetery for Cinema Under the Stars to view Mary Poppins and Casablanca.
- Almost 40 cafes, bistros, restaurants, pubs and clubs within the Toowoomba Regional Council area took part in the very successful #trEATS program, where they created a spring inspired special between $10 to $20 each. Cobb+Co Museum reported its ‘busiest September ever’ and sold 350 #trEATS!
“To top off a truly incredible year for Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, just a few weeks ago, the event was awarded Silver at the Queensland Tourism Awards for Major Festivals and Events. This is wonderful recognition, particularly when COVID-19 has been affecting so many events,” Mr O’Shea said.
“We would also like to pay tribute to Council’s gardeners and all of the gardening residents of this region; the canvas of colour everywhere, truly created the event everyone needed this year.”
The Queensland Government, via Tourism and Events Queensland, is proud to support Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers which features on the It’s Live! in Queensland events calendar.
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
Silver winner 2021 Queensland Tourism Award for Major Festivals & Events
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