Gympie Gold Rush parade 2016.
Gympie Gold Rush parade 2016. LEEROY TODD

Gympie West School wins best float of the parade

GYMPIE was treated to more fun than you can chuck a nugget at on Saturday as the Rush Festival served up a massive line-up to celebrate Gympie's 149th birthday.

Patrick Woods / Gympie Times
Patrick Woods / Gympie Times Patrick Woods

From a vintage car and bike show to a colourful parade down Mary St to a free musical treat in Nelson Reserve, the festival could only be described as pure gold.

Winners in the Velmec Street Parade were selected by the three judges - Gympie MP Tony Perrett, Cr Daryl Dodt and Sue Curran, standing in for husband and Mayor Mick Curran.

The Community category was taken out by the Redbacks Baseball Gympie Club, the Schools category by James Nash State High School and the Business category was won by your favourite daily newspaper team, The Gympie Times.

Festival fun for (back, from left) Tiffany Fordham, Leah and Gareth Francis, (front) Montana Fordham and William, Eve and Eamon Francis.
Festival fun for (back, from left) Tiffany Fordham, Leah and Gareth Francis, (front) Montana Fordham and William, Eve and Eamon Francis. LEEROY TODD

Gold Rush president Jan Collins congratulated all the winning floats for their hard work and effort.

"Everyone just continues to lift the bar as far as standard of excellence and for The Gympie Times it's the second year in a row they have been judged best in the Business category,” Mrs Collins said.

The prize of $500 cash for the Best Overall Float in the Parade went to Gympie West State School.

Gympie Gold Rush parade 2016.
Gympie Gold Rush parade 2016. LEEROY TODD

"They were neck and neck with James Nash High for the best school's float, only a fraction separated them but in the end, the judges voted Gympie High as the Best Overall winner in the parade because of the effort put into their float.

"It had everything - bush dancing, drums, vibrancy and vigour.”

At the Autobarn Car & Bike Classic at Nelson Reserve, Brett Biddle entered his 1973 Holden Monaro and won the People's Choice for the best vehicle on display and Fen from the Military Motorcycle Brotherhood Curra's Harley Davidson was judged Best in Show.

ALL ABOARD: The Gympie Times crew ready to head down Mary St in Rob and Carol White's historic truck.
ALL ABOARD: The Gympie Times crew ready to head down Mary St in Rob and Carol White's historic truck. LEEROY TODD

"Lots of phone calls, emails and comments today all thanking Gold Rush for a great day and most described the festival in two words - best ever.

"One food stall commented thank you for a great day, then added it was frantic but a fantastic day.”

At 5pm, a spot at Nelson Reserve was hard to come by as a large crowd gathered to enjoy the free concert featuring Gympie's own Emma Beau and Linc Phelps who warmed the stage before Aussie '80s pop legends Mental as Anything belted out their iconic sound to the packed park.

With such a successful event, organisers are now looking to a bumper Gold Rush next year when Gympie will celebrate 150 years since James Nash discovered gold in Gympie.

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