Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has been crowned best major festival for the third year in a row at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, and in doing so, earned a place in the prestigious Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame. Held at Cataract Gorge in Launceston, the national awards celebrate the very best of Australia’s tourism industry.

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers beat six of the very best festivals and events in the country including the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix in Victoria, Splendour in the Grass in NSW, WOMADelaide in South Australia, the famous Crab Fest in Western Australia, the Darwin Festival in the Northern Territory and the Hawthorne Football Club’s Home Games held in Tasmania.

In accepting the award on stage, portfolio chair for Toowoomba Region Cr Geoff McDonald said the title was a stunning achievement in the event’s 70th year. “Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers has become a true tourism force to be reckoned with, having won the Queensland Tourism Award for four years in a row, and now dominating the national category for three years running!” he said. “Wait until we celebrate 70 years at this year’s event, there’ll be even more joy to be had!”

Due to state and national award timings this year’s award was judged on the 2017 event – an outstanding event in the rich history of the event. Attendance was more than 255,000 for the 10 days and records were reached in key visitation areas including welcoming 164 coach group visits and 90,000 overnight stays. These records were exceeded in 2018 with more coaches visiting and 122,000 overnight stays achieved.

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio was thrilled with the prestigious win and paid tribute to the coordination team and volunteers. “Without the incredible work done by the coordination team and our thousands of volunteers, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers simply would not happen each year. It takes over 2000 volunteers to give their time and skills to the 10 days and months of preparation to ensure that events like the iconic Grand Central Floral Parade are a celebration of our culture and community.” He paid special thanks to the key partners of the event – Tourism and Events Queensland, Grand Central, Heritage Bank, Qantas, Ergon Energy, Peter Roberts Honda, Southern Queensland Country Tourism and our media friends at The Chronicle, ABC Southern Queensland and Nine Queensland.

This year Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers will celebrate 70 floral-filled years, with the program being announced on 30 April and the event set for September 20 to 29. “I invite everyone to experience what all the fuss is about – the 70th Carnival is going to be blooming amazing!” said Mayor Antonio.

Readers also enjoyed our story about a sunflower farm, Business in Bloom.