Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers to bloom all September as petal power delivers joy

Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers to bloom all September as petal power delivers joy

fter smashing records last year with attendance figures increasing an astonishing 28% to 364,775 and generating $22.61 million in direct and incremental spending in Queensland, the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers will this year bloom across all of September, with Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio today launching the 2023 program at a beautiful Exhibition Garden. Imagery here


"Our internationally famed Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers will take over September as a joyous 30 days of petals, flavours, sounds and sights, headlined by 190,000 blooms which are being planted now by our Gardens Team," said Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio.


While this year marks the 74th Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, it is also the 50th anniversary of the Exhibition Garden program, which highlights private gardens that flourish all year. Fittingly, the launch was held at long-time Exhibition Garden host, Val Peachey's garden. Val said she had 'only' been a serious gardener for 31 years!


"My parents were gardeners and it wasn't until we moved to Toowoomba in 1992 that we became serious gardeners. Ours has been an Exhibition Garden for 10 years in 2023," said Val. "I enjoy sharing the garden with people from all over Australia and the world. It makes people smile when they walk into the garden, and I've had people cry in my garden, because it reminds them of something very special – a grandparent, or a moment growing up. It's really wonderful." 


The Exhibition Garden program has raised over $800,000 for charities and will run this year from Friday 15 to Sunday 24 September.


2023 Program Highlights


The superstars of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers are the city's parks, gardens and public spaces, all meticulously planted in designs that are seen only when in bloom. All are free to wander and enjoy.


The event that stops the city is the famous Grand Central Floral Parade, which will be held on Saturday 16 September, again at the earlier time of 10am, with the theme Create a Buzz!


The popular Festival of Food & Wine will be held from 8 to 10 September in Queens Park, a three day celebration of the best in regional produce and Australian music. The music lineup will be announced on June 1 and fans can expect some of Australia's most popular bands and musicians and local sound-makers.


This year there are more Twilight Tours of Laurel Bank Park, and for a good reason. Ticketholders see and hear from experts about the darker side of plant life in a one-hour nocturnal tour, meet shady characters like English and Spanish oaks, Gingko trees and Japanese maples, track down exotic and rare species and see what goes on behind the scenes to create a picture-perfect park. Tours will be held every Wednesday to Saturday of September.


And …. the Teddy Bears are back! After the success of the inaugural Teddy Bear's Picnic at Picnic Point, it's happening again on Saturday 23 September from 8.30am to 11.30am. With activities, 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!


In the Botanic Gardens at Queens Park the ever-popular Ferris Wheel program has been extended to run 15 to 30 September.


Flavour lovers are in for a feast this year. The regional food trail #trEATS (Toowoomba Region EATS) returns, with cafes, restaurants and bars offering a signature springtime dish inspired by the event. The Talking Pubs Tours will feature four character-filled Toowoomba pubs, while taking in the city's hidden laneways, home to some fantastic street art. If that's not enough, the progressive Foodie Dinner Tours visit three venues all via luxury coach!  Stretchy pants are most definitely recommended!


Watch out for famed local brewer 4 Brothers Brewing's signature floral beer for the event, and Toowoomba Region's first artisan distillery in Pechey Distilling Co which works botanical magic with their gin and vodka.


Cinema Under the Stars returns on Saturday 30 September, along with the fabulous Hanging Baskets at Cobb+Co Museum, Sideshow Alley in Queens Park from 15 to 17 September, the city-wide Heritage Bank Parkland Entertainment program featuring local musicians and the hugely popular Petals and Pups program.


There are 53 community events and tours, as well as the Chronicle Garden Competition, and for three nights from 15 to 17 September the skies over Toowoomba will light up with breathtaking firework displays!


Chair of the Toowoomba Regional Council Environment and Community Services Committee Cr James O'Shea said the continued expansion of the 74 year-old event proved to have extraordinary financial and social benefits for the community.


"Once again, our incredible event will take place over 30 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!" 


Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers 2023

1 – 30 September 2023


Recent Awards and Accolades

Silver winner 2022 Queensland Tourism Award for Major Festivals & Events

Silver winner 2021 Queensland Tourism Award for Major Festivals & Events

Gold winner 2019 Queensland Tourism Award for Destination Marketing

State Finalist 2019 Australian Tourism Awards for Destination Marketing

Australian Tourism Hall of Fame Inductee 2018 Major Festivals & Events

Queensland Tourism Hall of Fame Inductee 2017 Major Festivals & Events

Gold winner 2018, 2017, 2016 Australian Tourism Award for Major Festivals & Events

Gold winner 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 Queensland Tourism Award for Major Festivals & Events

Most Supportive Community Event 2017 Queensland Wine Awards

Event category Winner 2015 Parks & Leisure Australia Awards of Excellence

Gold winner 2014 Queensland Tourism Awards for Festivals and Events



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