The Event That Stops The Mighty Bruce Highway Returns For 2021

July 13, 2021

Another major event returns to the national calendar as Childers Festival announces that it will, once again, shut the mighty Pacific Coast Way (Bruce Highway) for its triumphant new-look 2021 return.

The Festival will take place just four hours north of Brisbane in the Bundaberg-hinterlands town of Childers from Thursday, 22 July to Sunday, 25 July.

Locals and visitors alike are invited to the rolling red hills and stunning heritage-filled streets of the town to celebrate the vibrant arts community with an impressive lineup of artists including national treasure Kate Cebrano, Opera Queensland and local artists.

Events take place throughout the picturesque village and hinterlands of the town, spotlighting both the rich history of the agricultural region and its bold future.

The heritage-listed Paragon Theatre, a 1920s tropical theatre and cinema that has been owned by the local Ricciardi family for over 50 years, will host Australian pop singer Kate Ceberano on Friday 23 July.

Opera by the Lake returns with a new feel, with guests encouraged to bring out their picnic sets for an afternoon by Lake Redbrook in the winter sunshine enjoying stunning performances by Opera Queensland’s, antipasto and local wine supplied by Vintners Secret and Hill Of Promise.

Sunday is Childers Festival Day, when the Bruce Highway closes and the main street is transformed into an action-packed entertainment hub, of live music from every genre and decade, acrobatic shows and street performers, free carnival rides and markets full of vintage treasure, local produce, hand-made gems and local arts and craft.

Bundaberg Regional Council’s arts, culture and events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said Festival Day’s new layout prioritises the Childers community and public safety.

“Local producers, artisans and businesses will take centre stage with the placement of stallholders having been carefully curated with priority positioning offered to the Childers community,” he said.

“Informative and directional signage has been a key consideration in the development of this year’s festival, while we have expanded into side streets and allies, we hope adventuring is both easy and enjoyable.”

Other highlights of the festival will include the crowd-favourite Sugar Mill & Cane Fire Tour, take a trip out to the agricultural farmlands of Childers and see the spectacular sight of sugar cane being burnt, walking and transported heritage tours and the brand-new Midnight Ghost Tour of the haunted hotspots of the hinterlands.

The festival program also include the Long Table Dinner at Hill of Promise Winery, arts activations and mini festivals throughout the four days.

Divisional representative Cr Bill Trevor said he was thrilled to see the festival back again after last year’s festivities were cancelled due to Covid.

He said the Childers Festival, which had been operating for more than two decades, had become one of the region’s premier attractions.

“This festival is a celebration of everything uniquely Childers,” Cr Trevor said.

“Organisers have been busy attracting handmade, artisan and locally produced products with more than 40% of stallholder applications received from Childers and the surrounding areas.

“What a fantastic way to celebrate our local people and businesses. I implore everyone to mark off the Childers Festival in their calendars and get ready to join in on the fun!”

You can view the full Childers Festival program and buy tickets to all of the events at whatsonbundaberg.com.au/childersfestival