Festival to alter Childers

AN army of volunteers have been placing erecting dozens of tents and place thousands of signs around the Bruce Highway in preparation for this weekend’s Childers Festival of Cultures.

The volunteers started work yesterday and will continue helping to get the street looking perfect until 8am on Sunday morning when the main festival starts.

Festival director Nancy Calder said work so far had been going smoothly.

“It will be mostly finished by Saturday night,” she said.

“We kick off the street party at 2pm this afternoon and the volunteers and workers will be still working to get everything finished,” she said.

Mrs Calder said on Sunday morning a further group of volunteers from the Rotary Club of Childers would start work at about 5.30am to help stall holders move into their sites.

“The stall holders have to get their cars out by 8am so it usually takes about 2 hours to get everything up and running,” she said.

More than 50,000 people are expected to pack Childers streets for the festival which will feature food, dance and music from cultures from around the world.

“I was speaking to hotel owners yesterday morning and they were all saying that if they had 50 more rooms they would be able to fill them and that everyone had a waitlist,” Mrs Calder said.

As well as the food and music, a number of different wines will be available to taste.

Vintner’s owner Marianne Lethbridge said she was very proud to feature their range at the festival — including a drop from a Childers winery.

“We make all our own wines completely, using both red and white grapes that have been grown across six acres of vines,” Mrs Lethbridge said.

The festival has drawn attention from the rest of the state and is believed to be the only event to close the Bruce Highway.

More than 10 per cent of Childers residents were born overseas, coming from countries such as England, New Zealand, Italy, Scotland and the Philippines.

“The fruit picking season also attracts hundreds of temporary residents from across the world,” Multicultural Affairs Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Ms Palaszczuk said the Queensland Government provided the Childers Festival of Cultures with $5000 under the Multicultural Assistance Program.

“We will continue to support events which reflect the rich cultural diversity that exists in our state,” she said.

Festival Facts

Crowds of 50,000 expected

Believed to be the only event which closes the Bruce Highway

Got just 6000 people at the first festival 15 years ago

Features music, stalls, food and wine



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