The Lake Alford duckponds the 1970s.
The Lake Alford duckponds the 1970s. Contributed

25 food trucks, road closures for Gold Rush this weekend

THIS weekend's Gympie Gold Rush Festival, which starts on Friday, is incorporating some new and exciting elements that are sure to keep crowds enthralled and entertained.

The festival features an evening lantern parade on Friday, a carnival afternoon, and a community picnic day.

The Gold Rush Festival Parade will take place 6pm-9pm with the street parade down Mary St starting at 7pm.

The Gold Rush Festival Parade will take place 6pm-9pm on Friday with the street parade down Mary St starting at 7pm.
The Gold Rush Festival Parade will take place 6pm-9pm on Friday with the street parade down Mary St starting at 7pm.

The twilight parade will feature a series of large-scale vintage machine-style lanterns made by local school and community groups accompanied by hundreds of local primary school students with illuminated cogs and wheels. Local community groups and businesses will also showcase their own illuminated floats.

The duckponds and Herman Husman's statue to honour the gold diggers in 1976.
The duckponds and Herman Husman's statue to honour the gold diggers in 1976. Contributed

Other parade elements include:

. pipe bands to showcase and celebrate Scotland's iconic instrument

. a drum line which is sure to get everyone's attention with their choreographed beats

. roving performances including stilt walkers, hula hoopers and winged characters to entertain and interact with spectators.

After the parade, the community will continue to be entertained with a fire show performance as well as live music by Jess Fox, Daniel Kuhle, Oh Harlow, This New Light and Cigany Weaver.

A variety of gourmet food trucks will also be available.

Road closures on Friday will be as follows:

4-10pm: Smithfield and Mary Sts (from Monkland St to Fiveways)

6.30-8pm: Mary Street (from Monkland St to Channon St)

7-8pm: Five-ways roundabout intersection at the end of Mary St

On Saturday, the Gold Rush Festival Carnival will kick off at 2pm at Lake Alford Park and the Gold Mining and Historical Museum.

As well as some exciting foodie elements - a Bootleg Bar where people can sample a huge range of craft beer from a licensed bar area, as well as more than 25 food trucks from across southeast Queensland - there will also be an array of games, obstacles and challenges that will be as fun to watch as they will be to get involved with.

Craft beer tasting is one of the new elements being added in to this year's Gympie Gold Rush Festival.
Craft beer tasting is one of the new elements being added in to this year's Gympie Gold Rush Festival. Warren Lynam

One example is the Catch a Gold Thief obstacle challenge where teams of two will race the clock to be the fastest gold thieves in town through a series of muddy challenges. Another is The Overburden where competitors will race to be the first to carry their wives or partners across the finish line.

This will be complemented by a series of old time and vintage games including "ball and chain” tossing, the wellington boot throw, a tug-of-war, hessian sack races, three-legged races, egg and spoon races, "haggis” toss, skipping ropes and knot tying.

There will also be steady stream of performances on the main stage and throughout the carnival with live music and roaming performers, as well as highland dancers acknowledging the traditional dance of the Scottish settlers.

Attendees will also enjoy craft stalls, a free circus playground with trained circus professionals to share tips and tricks, a gold panning competition, an Old Ways and Wares showcase so the community can experience the old-time skills of blacksmithing, spoon carving, lapidary, basket weaving, and bee keeping and many other skills in action, as well as participate in how-to workshops, various performances by the Gympie Historical Re-enactment Association, and a chance to discover real gold in the fossicking area.

The Gold Mining and Historical Museum will have free entry all day so people can explore Gympie's rich collection of stories and exhibits.

At 4pm on Saturday, finalists of the Nashy's Big Beard Bonanza will compete for a range of prizes and the coveted trophy of Best Freestyle Moustache, Full Beard Freestyle, and Full Beard Natural Champion. Nashy's Big Beard Bonanza is a hairy tribute to Gympie's founding father James Nash.

At 7pm, the Gold Rush Fire Event will light up the sky with fireworks and a fire lighting ceremony supported by a range of performances.

The event will also feature a large kinetic sculpture, a Chinese Lion Dance, and an array of world class musicians performing an original piece written specially for Gympie Gold Rush.

Plenty of parking options will be available on and around the site.

The only road closure on Saturday will Nicholas Christopher Driver from 12noon to 9.30pm.

Gympie Times


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