2014 Mary Valley Tomato Festival. Artist Bob Gammage.
2014 Mary Valley Tomato Festival. Artist Bob Gammage. Contributed

Mary Valley Tomato Festival ready to roll

THE third annual Mary Valley Tomato Festival is set to have the township of Imbil and surrounds hoping for the juicy red fruit this weekend.

The festival is focused in and around the Imbil Bowls Club and happens on the first Sunday in December.

The idea of the festival came about because of the upheaval in the Mary Valley caused firstly by the proposed Traveston Dam project and then by the suspension of the Valley Rattler scheme.

The brain-child of five locals, they saw the festival as a way to revive the spirit of Imbil and surrounds.

Throughout 2013, these dedicated committee members worked to over-come funding difficulties and unexpected hiccups and through the help of the community in general were able to create a truly memorable event.

President of the Mary Valley Tomato Festival committee, Josh Hopkins, said the first festival was extremely well received.

"The general consensus of opinion, from believers and doubters alike, was that it was a raging success and the best event Imbil has ever seen," Mr Hopkins said.

"It was very hard to actually estimate the total crowd attendance on the day, as there was no admission charge. It was possibly between 1500 and 2000 (people) based on general observations," he said.

This is the third time the festival has run and Josh is hopeful of even greater attendances for this year's event.

The program of events for this year's festival is jam packed with all things remotely tomato, including the tomato growing contest: where size really does matter, the tomato bowl: where contestants attempt to 'bowl' their tomato closest to the jack, the tomato throw and catch; where the objective is to catch an over ripe tomato the most number of times before it disintegrates and the tomato splat; where contestants throw a very ripe tomato at a target.

All this takes place at the Imbil Bowls Club.

A section of Yabba Creek Road will be closed to accommodate market stalls, gourmet food stands and a street parade.

The day will finish with a fully licensed barbecue at the Bowls Club and live music by the Ripsnorters.

Gympie Times


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