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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Savour a feast of colourful festivals on the Fraser Coast

As the weather cools, the events season starts to sizzle on the Fraser Coast.

In June and July, the heritage streetscapes and riverside parks of Maryborough transform into a sea of colour and culture, offering everything from famous chefs and Mary Poppins to a world theatre premiere and a pub fest famous the world over.
In August, it’s time to celebrate the humpback whales, who stop over in their thousands for up to 10 days in the calm, clear waters of Hervey Bay, the world’s most unique whale watching destination.
This exciting events season starts on Saturday 7 June with Relish Fraser Coast - a gourmet food and wine experience showcasing regional wines and produce.unnamed (16)
Maryborough’s heritage streetscapes and stunning riverside parks serve as the distinct backdrop for this celebration featuring foods grown in the Fraser Coast’s idyllic natural environment – including mouth-watering Hervey Bay scallops and Fraser Island prawns.
Highlights include live cooking demonstrations with awarding-winning Australian celebrity chefs, a “sweet” ride on an historic steam engine filled with treats and quirky beer and food matching sessions held underneath a heritage listed Bond Store, among old rum barrels from the 1860s.
The next day on 8 June is the World’s Greatest Pub Fest – a quirky, moving festival around Maryborough’s historic pubs with thousands of revellers dressing in outrageous costumes – all in the name of raising money for charity.  This year, it’s the Alzheimer’s Association of Queensland.
The theme of the “magic and fantasy” is also linked with the internationally acclaimed author Sir Terry Pratchett, who has given the rights to the world premiere adaption of one his novels to the Maryborough Players. They will perform ‘Witches Aboard’ at Maryborough’s Brolga Theatre from 4-9 June, coinciding with Relish and the Pub Fest.
Just a few weeks later, Maryborough stages another colourful, quirky festival – the weeklong Mary Poppins Festival, in honour of the Maryborough born author of Mary Poppins, Pamela Travers whose story was brought to life recently in the Disney production, Saving Mr Banks.
A full program of ‘practically perfect’ events includes art shows, theatre performances, a Mary Market and the feature event, the” Mary Poppins Festival in the Park” on Sunday 6 July.
The Festival in the Park spreads across Maryborough’s glorious Queens Park and Mary River Parklands and spills into its historic Wharf Street port precinct.
Cannons are fired, chimney sweeps dance, nannies race, umbrellas are everywhere and magic is in the air as these heritage settings are transformed into Cherry Tree Lane of the Poppins novels.
Characters such as Admiral Boom and the bird lady come to life and there are Mary Poppins and vintage themed activities including steam trains rides and sidewalk art.
For more information on these events visit:
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