FRESH: Heartland Festival's 2016 'Long Table Lunch'.
FRESH: Heartland Festival's 2016 'Long Table Lunch'. Tobi Loftus

Two fresh events revealed for Heartland Festival

SINCE its inception in 2016, North Burnett's Heartland Festival has grown into a firm fixture on the region's social calendar.

So successful has it been, that since its first year, when the festival was the beneficiary of a grant from Tourism Queensland, it has been entirely self-sufficient.

"All money we make from gate takings goes back into advertising and paying for next year's festival,” founder and president Renee McGilvery said.

She started the festival with a simple idea: to celebrate "all things made, grown and produced” in the Wide Bay Burnett.

"So much of our stuff is sent away (exported), there's not so much local access to it,” Ms McGilvery said.

Coalstoun Lakes Development Group hosted visitors to their valley as part of the Heartland Festival in 2017.
Coalstoun Lakes Development Group hosted visitors to their valley as part of the Heartland Festival in 2017. Erica Murree

"We (don't have the population) to sustain markets each week, so this is a chance to showcase what we have here, and for producers to build a loyal, local customer base.”

Two new events will feature at this year's festival, which will run from next Friday-Sunday.

The first is the Happy Valley Dairy Tour, hosted by the Radels, of Central Queensland Dairy Fresh fame, offering the "freshest white milk in the North Burnett”, according to the event website.

Michelle and Robbie Radel will offer a tour of their Happy Valley Dairy Stud as part of this year's Heartland Festival.
Michelle and Robbie Radel will offer a tour of their Happy Valley Dairy Stud as part of this year's Heartland Festival. Erica Murree

Participants will self-drive to Coalstoun Lakes where they will tour the Happy Valley Dairy Stud, get up close and personal with the stud's dairy cows, and hear directly from the Radels about how the milk is produced.

The event will conclude with an old-fashioned afternoon tea.

The other new event is the Food Bowl at Gayndah Bowls Club, which will combine a "mini eat-street” of food vans with a leisurely afternoon of lawn bowls, according to Ms McGilvery.

Other events on the agenda include the Welcome, Wine and Cheese on Friday night, the Market Day on Saturday on the Gayndah State School oval, the sold out Brushes, Blooms and Bubbly art experience, and the Family Picnic on Sunday on the Gayndah State School oval.

Gayndah band Mr Percival will be performing sets at the Market Day and picnic.

Gayndah girls Kylee Young and Angela Goldie launched their new business Canvas and Lime at last year's Heartland Festival.
Gayndah girls Kylee Young and Angela Goldie launched their new business Canvas and Lime at last year's Heartland Festival. Felicity Ripper

This is the first year Heartland Festival has been held in September - it was previously held in July.

However, a cramped roster of events in the Wide Bay and Fraser Coast regions forced a rethink by Ms McGilvery.

"There's so much going on,” she said.

She is hoping the festival does as well or better than previous years - about 4000 tickets have been sold each year across all events.

"But until people roll through the gate, you just never know,” Ms McGilvery said.

Ticket sales end on Wednesday.



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