Steaming into a massive weekend

A STEAMY three days of old engines, planes, trains, automobiles and big boys’ toys gets under way in Gympie next Friday.

The Ultimate Steam Festival will be held at three venues – the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum, WoodWorks Timber and Forestry Museum, and the Old Gympie Railway Station – home of the Red Rocket and The Valley Rattler steam train.

Thanks to funding received under the Events Queensland Regional Development Program, these heritage attractions will present an unique, fun and educational experience, not just for steam buffs but for people of all ages, to explore various uses of steam.

Member for Gympie David Gibson, and Mayor Ron Dyne will open the festival at the Gold Mining Museum on Friday at 10am and will blow the big steam whistle at the re-opening ceremony at WoodWorks Museum on Saturday at 11am.

With loads to see and do at this year’s Ultimate Steam Festival, jump aboard the steam train rides on Friday’s Red Rocket railmotor or the Valley Rattler’s Saturday and Sunday scenic tours.

Take a trip to the gold mining museum to watch the grand parades showcasing a scale steam locomotive, vintage and classic vehicle displays and steam boat launches on Lake Alford.

Enjoy a bus ride in a restored 1930s vintage bus to Suncoast Gold to check out the steam-powered co–generator and a factory inspection.

Saturday night the Gold Mining Museum Stamper Shed will buzz with a three-course steam theme dinner, entertainment and interesting historical and steam related slide and film presentation of yesteryear.

Don’t miss the starting up of the old working steam driven bush sawmill, model steam toys, static and working engines, wood chopping and carving demonstrations during festival time at the WoodWorks Museum.

Gympie’s heritage attractions have been working alongside other steam and historical groups including the Queensland Vintage Aeroplane Group from Brisbane and the Friends of the SS Forceful Brisbane to add extra strength to our steam festival.

On Saturday, between 1pm–2pm, look to the skies and see the Queensland Vintage Aeroplane Group fly-over, displaying some of their vintage aircraft including a Cessna C-195 & Waco.

Dedicated steam supporters from Brisbane, the Friends of the SS Forceful, will have an information booth, display and a small replica of the SS Forceful at the gold mining museum on Saturday and Sunday.

In 1964, SS Forceful became the last coal-burning tug on the Brisbane River. Her towing career ended in September, 1970.

During the festival you will also find live entertainment, food and refreshments, children’s rides and activities, markets, historical and educational tours, steam demonstrations and historical displays.

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