Best festival yet
40,000 flock to Childers Festival for food, fun and music. See story and photos
THIS year’s Childers Festival kicked off on Friday night with the Paragon Theatre grand opening and the party continued on Saturday through to the main event on Sunday.
With more than 400 market, food and wine stalls and five stages of non-stop entertainment, there was something for everyone at this year’s festival, which brought the Bruce Hwy to a standstill.
An estimated 40,000 people converged on the town during the three days.
Vintner’s Secret Vineyard was the place to be on Saturday, with Aboriginal art workshops run by indigenous artist Roger ‘Bushfire’ Saunders.
The workshops offered budding artists of all ages an opportunity to learn new skills of 3D painting, taking home masterpieces created with their own hands.
Back in Crescent St live entertainment pumped well into the night, with festival favourites the Twine and Slip on Stereo stealing the show.
It was all about the food for many people who flocked to the main event on Sunday – and it did not disappoint.
My Kitchen Rules 2013 winners Dan and Steph were busy keeping the hungry crowds well fed and local favourite Mammino Gourmet Ice Cream helped people beat the heat.
Festival first-timer Ilias Katsapouikidis proved just as popular, entertaining crowds, smashing plates and sharing his love of Greek sweet treats.
The Greek entertainer had sold three large trays of baklava and three whole halva cakes by lunchtime on the Sunday.
Mr Katsapouikidis said he enjoyed mixing with the crowd and hoped to return to the event next year.
Bundaberg Regional Council strategic events co-ordinator Perry Bacon said he was pleased with how the festival ran this year.
“We had more food than ever and we had a record number of stalls ... we’re at capacity. I don’t think we can physically fit any more in,” he said.
“We upped the ante with kids’ entertainment this year.
“It was good also to have Opera Queensland here ... it was a point of difference.”
Mr Bacon thanked local community groups for their assistance in making the festival come to life, including the PCYC Childers Emergency Services Cadets, who were on hand to help set up on the Saturday and Sunday.
“It was great to have them on board this year. “They’re young kids who were keen to help out,” he said.
Mr Bacon said his team would now work with the Friends of the Festival to develop Friday and Saturday’s part of the event.
“You need a point of difference as to the Sunday, whether that be in entertainment or something that comes out of the community, we don’t really know at this stage,” he said.
He said work on next year’s 20th anniversary celebrations had already begun.
“There’s a few things on the drawing board ... I think it will be a special event next year.”
SERVICE WITH A SMILE: Piping Hot Woodfired Pizzas owner Paul Somerfield doing what he does best.
TASTY TREAT: Amy Baldwin chomps into a German sausage at the Childers Festival.
EXOTIC SOUND: Walisuma provides the crowd with a taste of South America.
FAMOUSFACES: MyKitchen Rules 2013 winners Dan and Steph were popular among the crowd.
VIEW FROM ABOVE: Talitha Herrick and Michelle Harris entertain the crowds.
ON STAGE: Pacha Mama performs at the Childers Festival on Saturday.
CREATIVE EXPRESSION: Julia Cao fixes a piece at the Childers Festival.
GREEK TREATS: Ilias the Greek fed and entertained festival goers.
FUN DAY OUT: Ashlee Dale enjoys the atmosphere at the Childers Festival.