THE celebration isn't over for the 2018 Carnival of Flowers yet but organisers are already planning for next year's 70th anniversary.  

Early indications of this year's crowds suggest visitor numbers will surpass record figures in 2017, with early arrivals taking in the city parks in the days leading up to the weekend.  

Toowoomba Regional Council tourism and events portfolio leader Cr Geoff McDonald said it was a credit to organisers and the focus on building a bigger program over the carnival's 10 days.  

"The week before we actually saw a lot of people in our parks," he said.  

"(This year) is as equal to any that I've seen and the weather is a key contributor to that.

  "I think it has been a sanctuary and an escape for a lot of people given the drought."  

An apparent influx of international visitors combined with a flood of regional tourists morphed the city's parks and festival events into a multicultural celebration.  

The addition of Petals and Pups, the dog-friendly angle of the carnival, was also a hit with visitors.  

"It's great to see they're out enjoying themselves and it just adds to the colour and vibrancy and the culture that is the Carnival of Flowers," Cr McDonald said.  

"I hope they've seen enough to want to stay a bit longer."  

Planning has now turned to next year's extravaganza to celebrate the 70th event.

Organisations and businesses have already registered interest in the annual street parade for the milestone event.

Accommodation providers have also taken repeat bookings for next year.  

"Any milestone tends to add a little bit of spotlight and of course, being the major festival and event for Australia is a bit of pressure on one's shoulders to make it spectacular," Cr McDonald said.  

"But those who have been here this year can look forward to something special."  

The Carnival of Flowers continues this week.  



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