The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has announced the dates for its return to the Garden City in 2018. The premier annual event will be staged from Friday 21 to Sunday 30 September.

Organisers are finalising the program highlights for the 10-day celebration that attracts visitors both nationally, and internationally.

Last year the Carnival received the Gold Award for Major Festivals and Events at the Australian Tourism Awards held in Darwin last February, as well as the Gold Award for Major Festivals and Events at the Queensland Tourism Awards for the third year in a row.

This win at the Queensland Tourism Awards nominates the event to represent Queensland at the national awards for the second year in a row.

In 2017 a record of 255,639 people attended the award-winning event, and this year organisers are hoping for similar numbers to attend.

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said attendance across the event skyrocket last year, with overall figures up by 29 percent.

“The opening weekend of the event set the scene early, with record breaking crowds on Saturday and Sunday and hundreds of thousands enjoying the brilliant spring sunshine, the Grand Central Floral Parade and the almost 200,000 blooms covering the city’s parks and gardens,” said Cr Antonio.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the latest figures reinforced the carnival’s status as a leading Queensland event.

“The Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers is Australia’s longest-running horticultural event and the great turnout in 2017 is evidence of its growing popularity,” said Ms Jones.

“The Carnival is an integral part of Toowoomba’s identity and provides a unique experience that has become popular with visitors the world over.”

Ms Jones said Tourism and Events Queensland’s It’s Live calendar was expected to generate $780 million this year.

“Tourism is a $25 billion industry in Queensland and major events like the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers play a major role in driving visitors to our regions,” she said.

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