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Festival Changes Meet With Approval

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Last year Wine & Food In The Park introduced an Instagram frame so guests could post shots of themselves at the festival; this year, street performers introduced "Pretzelgram"

March 14, 2017

Numbers at this year’s Wine and Food In The Park Festival were up slightly this year, and several thousand people who made their way to Kingaroy’s Memorial Park on Saturday were rewarded with a relaxing day of food, wine, live entertainment … and a few surprises.

This year’s festival underwent some radical surgery for its eighteenth outing, but most of the changes seem to have been met with general approval.

The Giant Wine Tent that has dominated Memorial Park on festival day for the past 10 years was gone, replaced by a more open “village-style” layout where wineries were intermingled with food stalls.

A new outdoor beer garden dispensing craft beers from the side of a Kombi van was a surprise last-minute addition to this year’s offerings that drew steady crowds all day.

And the main stage was moved to a new location, which let guests put their seating in the shade through the hot afternoon.

Festival organisers had their own tent in the grounds, and were busy all day handing out free slushies, bottled water, caps and wine coolers to happy patrons who redeemed bonus tickets they received when they entered the grounds.

This year the Festival also introduced an “all local” music line-up.

Performers like Rowan Edwards, Cosmic Blue, Mr Q, Muddy Flats and The Blues Excuse kept the atmosphere upbeat throughout the afternoon and evening, providing a varied musical backdrop that was entertaining without being intrusive.

Street performers – a signature of the event – wended their way through the crowds, while food vendors offered a mouth-watering assortment of choices from stalls that lined the park’s perimeters.

The organising committee said they were very pleased with patron behaviour this year.

“We have always encouraged responsible alcohol consumption and we were very pleased to see our guests took the same view,” outgoing festival president Chrys McDuffie said.

“Wine and Food In The Park is a family-oriented festival and mums and dads trust us to provide a safe, fun, family-friendly environment.

“We take a dim view of misbehaviour, and over the past 18 years I think that message has made its out into the community at large, because everyone was very well behaved.

“This festival is a fun day and we’re really happy with the way things turned out this year.”

Colourful stilt-walkers towered over the crowds and brightened the day; the festival's new layout didn't seem to pose any problems for them

Acrobats Hans and Eva kept the crowds amused with their skilful acrobatic tricks

It wouldn't be Wine & Food In The Park without wine ... Ada Smiles and Stefano Radici from Clovely Estate were kept busy all day showing off their latest vintages

Nor would it be Wine & Food In The Park without food ... Kerry Cotter, Kev Gill, Brendon Evans and Michelle Swindale, from The Gumnut Place, were serving up pork balls in Asian dipping sauce

Lindsay and Roz Frohloff took a break in the Festival's new Beer Garden, another popular innovation at this year's event

Entertainment organiser Dianne Hannant shares a joke with Festival compere Michael "DJ Direx" Monk

After spending the morning at Proston Show, Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington caught up with her sister Jackie Allery at the festival

Canadians Greg Merrick and Bev Cole, from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, centred their vacation around coming to Wine & Food In The Park; Greg has had four trips to Australia and this year's Wine & Food In The Park was the second one he has attended

Kingaroy SES were helping to keep visitors safe Peter Verbakel, Joni Mullins and John Kefford

Donna Brown, Upper Booie, and Rosie Schmidt, Kingaroy, had fun shopping for wine

Festival committee member Nina Temperton, from South Burnett CTC, was kept busy manning the Festival's site office all day, dispensing bonus slushies, cold bottled water, caps and wine coolers

Tim Harris from the Commercial Hotel brought along a pub built into a Kombi van to supply the beer garden ... cool or what?

Tony Cisneros, from Mr Q, shares a laugh with Auntie Lillian Gray; Tony selected and booked all this year's bands

Visitors Maddy Ever, from Brisbane, and Shannon Slack, from the Sunshine Coast

Cherbourg band Muddy Flats made their debut at the Festival this year, accompanied by Aunty Lillian Gray, to great acclaim

The evening was finished off by Tucker McCray and The Blues Excuse, who performed a marathon two-hour set

Towards the end of the night, the Festival's committee made special presentations to outgoing Secretary Paula Greenwood, outgoing president Chrys McDuffie and long-serving treasurer Ray Wilton, at front, who has held the position for the past 18 years


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One Response to Festival Changes Meet With Approval

  1. John Box

    Congratulations to the committee and especially Paula Greenwood and Ray Wilton for their untiring commitment to the event.

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