FEATURE IMAGE CREDIT: Tourism and Events Queensland
The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, 1 – 30 September 2024.
It is quite fitting that one of Toowoomba’s earliest historical milestones was a visit by Allan Cunningham, an English explorer and botanist in 1816. He was searching for native trees and plant life that would withstand the Australian climate.
Toowoomba took a leaf from its historical pages to open its city doors to budding landscapers and gardeners with their annual Carnival of Flowers. It was started in 1949 by the local city council, who wanted a way to boost the economy after difficult years following World War II. The Carnival quickly bloomed into a very successful and popular event, both for locals and visitors.
Amongst a host of organised events, you can choose to indulge in local organic food and wine, experience local culture with live music, tour the exhibiting gardens, or spend time appreciating some classic cars. Each activity is set to enliven the event and add enjoyment for visitors time in the ‘garden city’.
Arguably, the highlight of the carnival is the Grand Central Floral Parade with its awe-inspiring floats and displays. The Carnival also includes an awesome program of family-friendly entertainment, with everything from amazing parades and live entertainment, to kids’ rides and activities, celebrity chef dinners, a ‘Night Garden’ and much more – all held at multiple sites across Toowoomba.
Grand Central Floral Parade
Over 100,000 people will line the street as hundreds of flowery floats wind their way through the heart of the city. This year’s parade will include carnival characters, street performers and roving entertainment as they escort the beautiful floral floats through the heart of the city to Queens Park.
If you do decide to take the time and watch the entire parade, you should note that it does take around an hour to pass by any given point, so there is plenty of time to enjoy the vibrant floats and flashy costumes.
The Grand Central Floral Parade will be held at 10am on Saturday 16 September 2023.
Festival of Food & Wine
It is a treat for the eyes, the ears and the stomach! Here you can find classic sideshow games, rides and entertainment plus DJs. Brisbane Kids will also love the amazing fireworks display each night that will light up the sky with spectacular colours – just remember to bring your own rug to snuggle up and enjoy the display.
Sideshow Alley will be open on 5pm – 10pm on Friday 15 September (fireworks at 8:30pm), 9am – 10pm on Saturday 16 September (fireworks at 8:30pm) & 9am – 9pm on Sunday 17 September 2023 (fireworks at 7:30pm).
IMAGE CREDIT: Tourism and Events Queensland
Teddy Bears’ Picnic
This free morning for families will include roving kids’ entertainment, food stalls, interactive games, colouring in and more. All teddies are also invited to be part of the fashion parade (registrations on the day). There’s no need to book for this event – just bring your teddy and have a great time!
The Teddy Bears’ Picnic will be held from 8:30am – 11:30am on Saturday 23 September 2023.
The Chronicle Garden Competition
Across the carnival, there are numerous gardens, parks and displays or stunning greenery and flowers to faun over. There are open areas to simply stroll around and soak up the atmosphere, or you can choose to take a guided tour to learn about Toowoomba’s history, the lengths it takes to grow such beauty and a lesson on native plants. The Chronicle newspaper will be publishing a special Chronicle Garden Competition Guide and map on Friday 15th September for visitors to plan out their visit to the amazing gardens entered into this annual competition. Copies of this newspaper can be purchased from the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Info Hubs or at the Toowoomba Visitor Information Centre on James Street any time after this release date.
The Chronicle Garden Competition open gardens will be on display from 9am – 6pm on Friday 15th to Sunday 17th September and Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th September 2023.
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers Event Details
- Dates: 1 – 30 September 2024
- Location: Various Toowoomba locations
- Who: The whole family
To find out more about the 2024 oowoomba Carnival of Flowers, including the full program of events, head to https://tcof.com.au/