The multi-award-winning Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers (TCOF) has unveiled a joy-filled month-long program of celebrations for 2021. An extension of the 10-day event that has taken place in Queensland’s city on the range for the past 72 years, and a sign of the success of its COVID-19 planning.
Taking centre stage over the new 30-day format will be flowers and local flavours, as the event blooms into a truly region-wide experience for both locals and visitors.
TCOF 2020 was the first free, unfenced, outdoor, major tourism event in Australia to be delivered during COVID-19 restrictions, and saw more than 200,000 visitors from all over Queensland attend. Today the Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio announced that TCOF 2021 would be extended from the usual 10-day format, to run the full month, from September 1 to 30 with Council’s gardeners preparing to plant over 190,000 blooms.
“In 2020, COVID-19 restrictions allowed Toowoomba Regional Council to bring forward the event’s five-year Strategic Plan and trial activations all September. We did this to ensure the safety and comfort of visitors, while also generating extended activity for local businesses, which is a key aim of the event. The results were outstanding,” he said. “As a result, this year our incredible event will take place over 30 petal-filled days, to allow for greater visitation, business connections and community engagement. Our Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers bloomed in the most wonderful way in a time no-one thought possible. We look forward to welcoming visitors from all over Australia this Spring!”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers had bloomed into a major Queensland event. “This year’s extended event will mean even more visitors will be able to experience Toowoomba’s iconic Carnival during the region’s most spectacular time of year,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Toowoomba’s month-long Carnival has blossomed into one of Australia’s favourite celebrations of food, wine, flowers and local produce. The extended format is expected to spread the carnival’s economic benefit to the region by encouraging visitors to stay longer, supporting local jobs and Toowoomba’s economic recovery, which is already underway. The Palaszczuk Government is proud to be associated with the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. Toowoomba and Southern Queensland are Good to Go as the State’s place to be this Spring.”
Chair of the Toowoomba Regional Council Environment and Community Services Committee Cr James O’Shea said the COVID-19 format of TCOF had become the blueprint for change in 2021, with new events added to the 2021 program and the welcome return of others.
“It’s with great excitement that we can announce the return of the famous Festival of Food and Wine, to be held from September 10 to 12 celebrating the best in regional produce and Australian music in Queens Park. We also welcome back one of the highlights of Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers in the Grand Central Floral Parade; it’s the event that stops the city, with thousands of families lining the streets to watch the colour go by. It will be held on Saturday September 18 with a much earlier start time of 10am, allowing crowds to enjoy a full day shopping, sightseeing and adventuring in our city.”
Cr O’Shea announced two major new events for 2021.
“In a major coup for foodies, we will be bringing High Cheese to Spring Bluff, to be held in partnership with Lockyer Valley Regional Council and hosted by famed chef and local produce champion, Alastair McLeod! This will be an extraordinary experience, given it is happening at the beautiful heritage-listed station that boasts 150 years of railway history and magnificent gardens. Tickets to this will sell out fast.”
“We also welcome Cinema Under the Stars, a free community event in the leafy lawns of the Drayton and Toowoomba Cemetery, with a line-up of classic movies featured. What a fabulous new experience!”