Crowds cheer as Jason Kinsella urges on the competitors in the pasta-eating competition
Heads down as the piano accordion serenades the competitors

September 19, 2018

Moffatdale Ridge’s annual Italian Festival had a lot of competition this year – rugby league grand finals, Nanango Muster, Nanango Races, Avocado Festival etc – but still about 1200 people turned up to celebrate la dolce vita.

The lawns of the cellar door at Moffatdale were packed with chairs while other visitors sat under shade sails erected especially for the day.

Sue Kinsella, from Moffatdale Ridge, said the crowd was happy and enjoyed the entertainment and food on offer.

Music was provided by Italian Festival regular Fortunato Isgro along with Brisbane-based opera singer Meg Kiddle, Rob Grant on piano accordion and the Soul Good Big Band from Murgon.

A popular attraction this year was a salami wheel, run by Kingaroy Rotary.

Sue said the crowd also enjoyed performances from a six-girl Italian dancing group, who came up from Brisbane for the day.

The spaghetti-eating competition is always a highlight of the event and this year was no exception.

The competition was wide open, with reigning champion and three-time winner Michaela Graaf overseas and unable to defend her title.

The 2018 winner, Gympie chicken farmer Blake Wardle, impressed the crowd with his pasta-eating skills!

A small shower in the morning cleared to a fine, if cloudy day, keeping the temperatures comfortable.

This year’s celebrations wound up about 5:30pm.

An hour later, a storm swept through giving the Moffatdale Ridge vineyards a welcome little bit of rain.

Sue said next year’s Italian Festival will probably be brought forward a week, to September 7, to avoid clashing with other South Burnett activities.

[Photos: Ros Heit]

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