TIME TO PARTY CHILDRENS
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.”
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.
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.