TIME TO PARTY CHIL­DRENS

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page -

CHILDERS had its day in the sun as about 40,000 visi­tors flocked to take part in the Childers Fes­ti­val’s 20th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions.

Blue skies and warm con­di­tions kept Mam­mino Gourmet Ice-Cream staff busy, but with ev­ery­thing from Ger­man sausages to belly dancers, street per­form­ers and lo­cal winer­ies on show, there was plenty for all ages to see and do.

Childers win­ery Vint­ner’s Se­cret Vine­yard co-own­ers Ed Mur­ray and Marianne Leth­bridge said the fes­ti­val was a huge suc­cess.

“We’ve been here for seven years and from what I can gauge from the crowd num­bers, this is by far the thick­est,” Ms Leth­bridge said.

“I’m notic­ing a lot more out-of-town peo­ple.

“The lo­cal peo­ple seem to have come through early in the morn­ing and now we’re meet­ing peo­ple from all over and most of them are stay­ing overnight, so there is that ac­com­mo­da­tion boost as well.

“Sales have out­stripped all other years for the same time of day.”

Ms Leth­bridge said the flow-on ef­fects for lo­cal busi­nesses from the fes­ti­val’s ex­po­sure would con­tinue to be felt.

“I would en­vis­age so many en­quiries about ‘what do you do?’ and ‘what do you of­fer?’, and even lead­ing up to Christ­mas book­ings, and we do wed­dings, so we get a few wed­ding in­quiries,” Ms Leth­bridge said.

“We give away our prod­uct but it’s in the advertising bud­get and it’s for

peo­ple to know you ex­ist.

“There’s a lot of talk about wine trails and we, as part of a group, are in the process of de­vel­op­ing a monthly wine trail, so this is gar­ner­ing that sup­port, so hope­fully it will have real long-term flow-on ef­fects for the re­gion.”

Just Rock ’n’ Roll Club Bund­aberg had the crowd tap­ping their toes and singing along as its dancers en­ter­tained the crowd.

Pres­i­dent Bob Mur­nane said the group had been per­form­ing at the fes­ti­val for 12 years.

“It gives us ex­po­sure and some­times we get a few new mem­bers out of it,” he said.

Childers di­vi­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tony Ric­cia­rdi spent part of the day show­ing Queens­land Gover­nor Paul de Jersey around the fes­ti­val and the sights of Childers.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful day and we’ve got a beau­ti­ful steady crowd.

“I think we should reach ex­pec­ta­tions of 40,000 plus by the end of the day,” he said. “It’s been a great lead-up. We had our in­tro­duc­tion of the new Isis Mill tours on Fri­day and on Satur­day we had the opera.

“It’s been great, one of the best.”

Event or­gan­iser Perry Ba­con said from the feed­back he re­ceived from stall hold­ers in­di­cated they be­lieved num­bers were slightly up on pre­vi­ous years.

“A num­ber of stalls ac­tu­ally sold out and some quite early, which was good,” he said.

“We prob­a­bly ended up at about the 40,000 mark.

“The Satur­day night is also get­ting big­ger and we have put a lot of work into pro­mot­ing that, which is com­ing to fruition.”

PHOTOS: PAUL DON­ALD­SON

TWIST­ING TUNES: Bob and Vir­ginia Mur­nane and the Bund­aberg rock and rollers put on a show at the Childers Fes­ti­val.

By CAROLYN ARCHER

HIGH PER­FOR­MANCE: Michelle Harris and Talila Her­rick wow the crowds at the Childers Fes­ti­val.

HE­ROES AND DAMES: Peter McEl­lig­ott, Sam Neisler, Lizzie Neisler and Phillip Ni­chol­son from Bundy Bowl and Leisure.

MU­SIC MAK­ERS: Steven John and Fran­coise Smith en­ter­tain the crowd.

FINE WINE: Ed Mur­ray and Maryanne Leth­bridge dis­play their prod­ucts.

TASTY TREATS: Ilias Lat­sapouikidis was a hit with his Greek food and ac­cent.

PHOTOS: JODIE DIXON

OPEN­ING THE FES­TI­VAL: Singing the na­tional an­them is Queens­land Gover­nor Paul de Jersey AC.

TRANS­FOR­MA­TION: The busy Bruce High­way through Childers had a dif­fer­ent look dur­ing the fes­ti­val.

CLEAN CAKE: Bee Po­ti­mon likes the cre­ative soaps at one of the stalls. FES­TIVE FUN: Christo­pher and Carolyn Tandy add a splash of colour to the fes­ti­val.

FAM­ILY DAY: Bos­ton, Danielle, Madi­son and Kane Jack­son en­joy a day out.

THIRST QUENCHERS: Ella Perry, Mia, Scar­lett and Cal­ista Craw­ford cool down on a hot day.

STREET SHOWS: Don Costa per­forms.

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