GYMPIE'S sesquicentenary celebrations reach a crescendo this weekend when the annual Gold Rush celebrations take the party to the next level.
The street party in Mary St kicks off at 9.30am on Saturday with the Best Beard judging taking place about 10.40am, the Pincurls and Petticoats Pageant at 11.45am, entertainment, street performers, market stalls and so much more.
The Gold Rush Festival Family Day in Nelson Reserve begins at 11pm, with classic car and bikes on display in the Autobarn Car and Bike Classic.
There will also be live entertainment from the Rock-a-Billy Band Zed 28 on the Sound Shell stage.
After the presentation of trophies to the winners in each category, classic car and bike owners will head off to the Civic Centre in Mellor St to assemble for the Gold Rush Street Parade, which promises to be the biggest and best yet, with heaps of giveaways for young and old, great music, colour and festivity.
In the parade, if the glorious classic vehicles are not enough this year, 12 Pincurls and Petticoats glamorous beauty pageant finalists in 1950's fashion will be going along for the ride.
The Velmec Automotive Gold Rush Street Parade starts at 3pm at the top of Mary St; assembly point is the Civic Centre car park from 2.30pm.
The National Servicemen's Memorial Band from Gallipoli Barracks will lead this year's parade, and there will be two other visiting pipe and drum bands, as well as Irish band The Feds performing on the back of a vintage truck in The Gympie Times float.
A Lion Dance performance will add another dimension to our celebrations, with an appearance from the 5th Light Horse Regiment Gympie Troop as well as camels in the mix amongst all the magical floats.
The Family Fun day at Nelson Reserve will have something for every age group, more food, more market stalls, more movement, more colour and best of all more excitement.
There will be free rides and slides for the kids at the RSL Eureka Fun Zone in the park from 2pm until 6pm and live entertainment on stage at the Sound Shell will continue after the parade.
The Sunshine Coast Caledonian Pipes & Drums will be performing in Memorial Park accompanying the Scottish dancers and the Karate Club members will also be in Memorial Park to show off their skills after the parade.
At 3pm on Saturday, the gates open to the Rush Concert in Albert Park, which then kicks off at 4pm.
Featuring Jimmy Barnes, The Black Sorrows, Thirsty Merc, Reece Mastin, Katie Underwood, Brooke Schubert, Frank Woodley and so much more, this massive concert will be a milestone event when it comes to live entertainment in Gympie city.
Mary Street on Saturday
9.30am-1pm Street Party
9.30am: Kaitlin Grace
10am: Emma Beau
10.40am: Nashy's Big Beard Bonanza
11am: Jacob Lee
11.45am: Pincurls and Petticoats Pageant
12noon: Al's $5k nugget
Gold City Stage Host: Cindy Vogels
Albert Park on Saturday
3pm: Gates open
Nelson Reserve on Saturday
4:30pm: Depending on the timelines of the parade, Chinese Lion Dance performance to bestow luck on our city.
4:45pm: Scottish Dancers performing with the Sunshine Coast Caledonian Pipes & Drums
5pm: The combined schools Flash Mob, supported by the James Nash Concert Band.
5:15pm Tribal Essence and Drummers performance.
5:30pm Sets from the National Service Men's Pipes & Drums
5:45pm The three parade categories winners will be announced, plus the Best Overall Float for $500 prize money, followed by the Murrumba Pipes & Drums playing until:
6:15pm Spectacular Laser Light Show concludes Gold Rush 2017
# Many happy returns Gympie.