Best fes­ti­val yet

40,000 flock to Childers Fes­ti­val for food, fun and mu­sic. See story and pho­tos

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By MELINDA BRAD­FORD

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.”

PHOTO: MAX FLEET BUN270714CMF4

SER­VICE WITH A SMILE: Pip­ing Hot Wood­fired Piz­zas owner Paul Somer­field do­ing what he does best.

PHOTO: MAX FLEET BUN270714CMF2

TASTY TREAT: Amy Bald­win chomps into a Ger­man sausage at the Childers Fes­ti­val.

PHOTO: MAX FLEET BUN270714CMF45

EX­OTIC SOUND: Wal­isuma pro­vides the crowd with a taste of South Amer­ica.

PHOTO: MELINDA BRAD­FORD

FAMOUSFACES: MyKitchen Rules 2013 win­ners Dan and Steph were pop­u­lar among the crowd.

PHOTO: MAX FLEET BUN270714CMF18

VIEW FROM ABOVE: Talitha Her­rick and Michelle Har­ris en­ter­tain the crowds.

ON STAGE: Pacha Mama per­forms at the Childers Fes­ti­val on Satur­day.

PHOTO: MAX FLEET BUN270714CMF29

CREATIVE EX­PRES­SION: Ju­lia Cao fixes a piece at the Childers Fes­ti­val.

PHOTO: MELINDA BRAD­FORD

GREEK TREATS: Ilias the Greek fed and en­ter­tained fes­ti­val go­ers.

PHOTO: MAX FLEET BUN270714CMF38

FUN DAY OUT: Ash­lee Dale en­joys the at­mos­phere at the Childers Fes­ti­val.

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