Ross Begent, Cr Geoff McDonald and Carnival of Flowers co-ordinator Kate Scott celebrate victory.
Ross Begent, Cr Geoff McDonald and Carnival of Flowers co-ordinator Kate Scott celebrate victory.

Flower carnival power at its golden best

TOOWOOMBA'S fourth gold medal for Best Major Festival at the Queensland Tourism Awards is a tribute to the passion and commitment of more than 2000 Carnival of Flowers volunteers, including a large contingent of Seniors.

"This level of support is a credit to the nature of our very strong community spirit," Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio said.

"The community warmly welcomes visitors, friends and family into their homes, gardens and lives and I am very proud of how the entire region prepares for months beforehand to ensure we are looking our best each September!"

Even fellow-finalist the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games wasn't enough to trump the carnival, which beat the Gold Coast's Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival in Silver and Rockhampton's Beef Australia 2018 which took Bronze.

The carnival is now in the running for its third national title in March.

A win there would make it the first Queensland entrant in a decade to be honoured with Australian Tourism Hall of Fame status.

TRC Environment and Community portfolio chair Cr Geoff McDonald claimed the win as a coup for regional Queensland and a credit to the diverse interests and talents of the region's individuals and community groups involved in more than 65 events and 74 tours over the 10-day festival.

Record numbers of over 250,000 attended this year's event, including 174 inbound coach groups.

"We would like to acknowledge the extraordinary result our gardeners and carnival team achieved throughout particularly harsh drought conditions this year," Cr McDonald said.

Next year's event will be the 70th, so we can expect even bigger things from the team which always tries to outdo itself with innovative ideas to keep the event fresh for locals and tourists alike.

The 2019 Carnival of Flowers will run from September 20 to 29.