EVERY year, as thousands of people mob the town of Childers and close off the Bruce Hwy for the region's most famous annual festival, the NewsMail is there to bring you all of its colour and energy.

And we've been there right from the start, when the event was still called the Childers Multicultural Festival, and it was a popular strip of market and international food stalls that lined the main street.

We've brought you stories and pictures for more than 20 years as the event grew and grew and, as it grew, took up more space beyond the highway and spilled into neighbouring parkland and roads.

As the NewsMail's technological capabilities developed, we were able to bring you more than just the printed word and picture, complementing it with online photo galleries and video in recent years.

And we have celebrated it as one of our most successful events, with crowds of more than 50,000 now a common occurrence.

NewsMail chief photographer said the festival was a joy to capture in pictures.

"There's always something interesting to photograph, from performers walking around on stilts to people in costumes - anything from the beautiful to the slightly bizarre," he said.

"But it's also nice to just see people enjoying themselves and sampling the great food and entertainment, whether they're local people or visitors from quite a distance away.

"It always amazes me just how far some people will travel to come to the festival, sometimes every year."

And when the last weekend in July rolls around next year, we'll be back again to soak up the great atmosphere, along with much of the community.

The NewsMail is there to cover all the big breaking stories and issues that mean something to our readers.

Follow the rest of our We Were There online series, which concludes on Tuesday, by checking out www.news-mail.com.au/video.



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