The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - NEWS - TOM SNOW­DON

CHAR­LOTTE Hor­ton is all about hav­ing a bloom­ing good time.

One of the al­most 200,000 visi­tors ex­pected to at­tend Toowoomba’s Car­ni­val of Flow­ers this week­end, the tod­dler (pic­tured) wanted to taste the event’s at­mos­phere – lit­er­ally.

The cu­ri­ous one-year-old was so en­am­oured by the beau­ti­ful colours on dis­play she wanted to put them in her mouth, her grand­fa­ther David Grant said.

“She did quite a bit of walk­ing but she swal­lowed a bit of the red dirt as well,” Mr Grant said.

From mod­est be­gin­nings in 1949 when it was launched by the Toowoomba Cham­ber of Com­merce, the re­gional ex­trav­a­ganza has grown into an eco­nomic pow­er­house for the Gar­den City.

Overnight vis­its have jumped from one-night stays to al­most three at last year’s event, and it now gen­er­ates about $26 mil­lion for the re­gion, ac­cord­ing to Tourism and Events Queens­land.

As well as flower power and stun­ning gar­den dis­plays lin­ing the streets of the Gar­den City, mu­sic also has an im­por­tant role in the fes­ti­val.

Mr Grant, who spent the morn­ing ad­mir­ing the pop­pies in Lau­rel Bank Park with Char­lotte, said the lo­cal Jim Miller Big Band was a toe-tap­ping good time.

“Char­lotte just loves mu­sic,” Mr Grant said. “But she’s only just at the stage where she’s walk­ing so she had a lit­tle dance in my arms.”

Open­ing this year’s fes­ti­val, Premier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk an­nounced her Gov­ern­ment’s sup­port of the event for an­other three years.

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