The wait is over and the 2022 program for Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has been unveiled.
In announcing the program today, Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said the famous floral celebration would spring into action over all 30 days of September as a joyous program of petals, flavours, sounds and sights, and also revealed the theme for the Grand Central Floral Parade.
"The Grand Central Floral Parade is the event that stops the city, with thousands of families lining the streets to watch. It will be held on Saturday 17 September, again at the earlier time of 10am, allowing crowds to enjoy a full day shopping and adventuring. This year the theme will be Reflect, Connect and Sparkle, a fitting and very positive nod to the past two years of challenges, and the vision we have for the future," he said.
TCOF will be headlined by over 190,000 spectacularly blooming plants, flourishing under the hands of an army of Council gardeners. Seedlings are being carefully nestled into expertly prepared garden beds ready to put on a show of colour this September. Along with the beautiful blooms, the famous three-day Festival of Food and Wine will be held from September 9-11, showcasing the best in regional produce and Australian music in Queens Park.
Chair of the Toowoomba Regional Council Environment and Community Services Committee Cr James O'Shea said the continued expansion of the 73 year-old event proved to have extraordinary financial and social benefits for the community.
"Our event is a significant economic performer for the region," he said. "Once again, our incredible event will take place over 30 petal-filled days, to allow for greater visitation, business connections and community engagement. Taking centre stage, as they should, will be flowers and local flavours, as the event continues to bloom into a truly region-wide experience for both locals and visitors. We look forward to welcoming visitors from all over Australia this Spring."
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers had bloomed into a major Queensland event.
"Toowoomba's iconic month-long carnival is one of Australia's favourite celebrations of food, wine, flowers and local produce," Mr Hinchliffe said. "Now famous around the country, Toowoomba's Carnival of Flowers brings tens of thousands of visitors to Queensland's Garden City. Last year, the extended carnival format delivered more than $22 million to Toowoomba's visitor economy, up by 123 per cent on 2020.
"We know big events like the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers benefit local businesses and tourism operators."
In the Botanic Gardens of Queens Park, the ever popular Ferris Wheel program has been extended to run September 16-25 from 9am to 8pm, coinciding with the stunning Night Garden experience which will shine all month. In major news for foodies, a new event called Tipsy High Tea at Spring Bluff will be staged in partnership with Lockyer Valley Regional Council on Saturday 3 September. This will be an extraordinary experience at the beautiful heritage-listed station that boasts 150 years of railway history and magnificent gardens. Tickets to this will sell out fast.
Also new for 2022 is the Teddy Bear's Picnic at Picnic Point on Saturday September 24. Featuring interactive shows, fairy bread making, face painting, food stalls and of course a Teddy Bear Parade, this is one for the young, and the young at heart.
Flavour followers can relax knowing that the regional food trail #trEATS (Toowoomba Region EATS) is back! Introduced in 2020, #trEATS will feature cafes, restaurants and bars all offering a signature springtime dish inspired by the event. Stretchy pants are most definitely recommended!
Two hosted progressive foodie dinners will take place in 2022, on Friday, September 2, and Saturday, September 17. A dining experience over three different venues in one evening hosted by a local tour guide and including coach transport and drinks, tickets are just $139 per person and places will fill quickly given the unique nature of these dinners.
Cinema Under the Stars also returns, this time at a new venue at Newtown Park, along with the famous Talking Pubs Tours, Twilight Tours of Laurel Bank Park, Hanging Baskets at Cobb+Co Museum, Sideshow Alley in Queens Park from 16 to 18 September, the city-wide Parkland Entertainment program featuring local musicians, the hugely popular Petals and Pups program and all of the floral displays, open gardens and petal-related activities the city is famous for.
Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers 2022 runs from September 1-30.