Gympie marks 146 years with big birthday bash
You're 146 years old today - and looking just great.
And you are still young enough to appreciate a full week of celebrations.
Gympie city and the region that grew up around it today mark 146 golden years since James Nash discovered alluvial gold in a creek at what is now the Mary St Five Ways intersection.
Always the canny Scot, he was considerate enough to time his discovery in a way that would lend itself to future partying.
Mr Nash made his big find at a time of year noted for clear skies, sunny days and cool comfortable evenings - perfect for a week of exciting and interesting events reflecting the region's history and its community and culture today.
Organisers of this week's Gold Rush Festival, Gympie's week-long birthday celebration, want everyone to take full advantage of their hard work in preparing seven full days of events and commemorations.
This year's party will pay special tribute to the contribution made by early Chinese settlers, including in terms of the very important role they played not only in mining but also in keeping the miners fed.
To help us with the celebrations, Gold Rush president Jan Collins said the Chinese Dragon Dance Troupe, from Fortitude Valley, would perform in Nelson Reserve and would lead the Gold Rush Parade.
The Australian Rickshaw Race, at 9.30am Saturday will be another lively Australian first.
And it might be truthfully be said that goldfields cuisine had a distinctly oriental flavour.
Chinese settlers, some of whom had bought their land after finding gold, grew most of the fledgling city's fresh fruit and vegetables.
So it is only natural that food is also an important part of the occasion.
At 10.30am on Saturday, the Great Chef's Cooking Challenge will compare some of the city's finest chefs, who will compete to create two full meals in an hour - without knowing beforehand even the ingredients they will be given.
Entrants include Jai Cook from Charlie's and Ben Buziko from the RSL Club.
From 1.30pm, Mary St will be lined with entertainers and food vendors - and then will come the grand parade at 3pm.
But, for those who came in late, Gold Rush began more seriously on Sunday with church services, literary awards were held on Tuesday at the Gympie Library and today will see the Great Art Debate, at the Gympie Region Gallery, along with the Gold Rush Art Show.
The Gold Rush Gem fest begins tomorrow at Goldfields Plaza and the Mayoress Gold Rush Concert will be held in the evening. But the big day was always going to be the Saturday.
Live bands will perform at the Rotunda and wine and food demonstrations should get everyone in the mood for a party.
And the classic car and bike show is not to be missed.