Everybody involved has already begun working hard to ensure this year’s Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers further enhances the event’s standing and importance to the city. The Carnival was officially launched on April 30 with 143 days remaining until the festival’s opening on September 20.

Founded in 1950 the 70th version of the Carnival’s launch by Toowoomba Regional Councillor Geoff McDonald came just weeks after the pageant was announced as the Best Major Festival or Event at the Australian Tourism Awards. It was the third consecutive year the Carnival of Flowers had been chosen as the winner and led to the gala being inducted into the Australian Tourism Hall of Fame. “Spring is coming and that means Australia turns it eyes to Toowoomba for the best event in the country,” said Cr McDonald in launching the Carnival, which will run through until September 29. “For the last month gardeners across the city have been planning and planting so everything blooms in a perfectly timed carpet of colour for the 250,000 locals and visitors, who will be celebrating with us.”

A special feature this year will be a spectacular floral installation by reigning Interflora World Cup champion Bart Hassam, which will be on display for the opening weekend. As Cr McDonald said on September 21 more than 100,000 people will line the streets of Toowoomba for the Grand Central Parade, with floats being decorated on the theme of The Power of the Flower. After winding through the city the parade will conclude at Queens Park.

In addition more than 1100 hectares of public parks and private gardens will be on display with some 180,000 bulbs and seedlings expected to be in full bloom. The program has a record 77 events, which is a significant increase on last year’s 65. Events will include the Heritage Bank’s Festival of Food and Wine, floral displays, exhibition gardens, live music, gardens’ competitions, street performers and roving entertainment.