HAPPY birthday Gympie! At 142 years old, the former gold mining town is looking better than ever and is prospering economically, socially and culturally.
Mayor Ron Dyne said he hoped residents shared in and enjoyed the birthday celebrations.
“We're very lucky to live in an area of great natural assets,” Cr Dyne said.
The community has already been enjoying the Gold Rush Festival, Gympie's iconic annual event that celebrates the city's golden past and golden future. The history of the Gold Rush Festival began in 1967, when the town celebrated the centenary of James Nash's gold discovery and the subsequent founding of the town of Gympie.
And Gympie has a special place in Queensland's history.
In 1867, Queensland was facing possible bankruptcy when Nash made his strike. It's this event that is credited with pulling the state back from the brink of financial disaster and the little settlement on the banks of the Mary River became known as “the town that saved Queensland”.
As is tradition, last night's Lady Mayoress Gold Rush concert showcased the cream of our performing arts talent and this Saturday's Gold Rush Float Parade down Mary Street will be a show stopper, with some 35 spectacular floats taking part, including a special RSPCA float complete with four-legged companions looking for great homes.
Gold Rush events co-ordinator Francois Gregory said the day would provide something for everyone and was adored by the region's families.
“The parade starts around 2.30pm and the theme is “In the beginning”, Mrs Gregory said. “There's no better place to be!”
After the parade, revellers can join the birthday celebrations at Nelson Reserve with the Phoenix Band, The Rift and Sneeky Pete plus market stalls and children's rides.
And don't forget, the council's Youth and Community Development unit in conjunction with the Gympie Gold Rush Festival is holding an outdoor screening of "Bolt" from 7pm in Memorial Park tonight.