September 16, 2019
The 2019 Blackbutt Avocado Festival had everything on Saturday … from parachute jumps and a parade, to budgies, postripping and lots and lots of visitors.
Avocado Central (ie. the Blackbutt Memorial Hall) was buzzing with avocado-themed cooking demonstrations by local chef Jason Ford,
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington and South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell were among the guests who took a turn on stage with Jason.
Deb shared her Ekka-successful pesto recipe (with the addition of avocado, of course).
While Keith was encouraged to make Bagel BLASTs (ie. Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, smoked Salmon and Tomato bagels).
Outside the hall, the QCWA cafe and the Avo-bard-do Bar were kept busy serving up avocado-based snacks and cocktails.
At 1:00pm, traffic on the D’Aguilar Highway was diverted briefly as the Street Parade made its way through the heart of Blackbutt and headed towards the showgrounds.
(No one seemed to mind, except for the driver of one large cattle truck which carefully mowed down the witches’ hats).
Local Blackbutt organisations were out in force in the parade, with many decorating their entries with avocados of every shape and size.
Alvin The Avocado was joined in the street by Blazer the Bear and Bacon Man, plus some pretty mean-looking stop-and-go ladies who were ordering the crowd to hop, cough and sneeze.
The parade is an old favourite at the festival but there were some new ideas tried out this year, too.
A popular new event was the Avo Drop.
After testing which way the wind was blowing, four parachutists jumped out of a light plane above the Blackbutt Showgrounds Oval.
Inside the oval were numbered plastic cups, filled with sand, which had been sold to onlookers. As they landed, the first three parachutists each grabbed the nearest cup.
There were some great cash prizes on offer for the lucky cup holders.
First prize ($500) went to Belinda Hadley-Wells, from Tarong, who agreed to split the prize with her daughter Ella who selected where to place the cup.
Second prize ($200) was won by Willo Riley, from the Blackbutt Post Office, and third prize was won by hard-working festival volunteer Les Lane, from Taromeo Rural Fire Brigade (who, coincidentally, was dressed as an avocado).
In the games area near Avo Central, there was Avo rolling, tossing, juggling, golf, strongman tests and wheelbarrow races, compered by local councillor Gavin Jones.
But not everything in the festival area, which stretched from Nukku Nook to the showgrounds, was avocado-flavoured.
There was the post-ripping (saluting Blackbutt’s timber town heritage), woodworking displays, caged birds and long lines of market stalls.
South Burnett Regional Council also brought along its “South Burnett Flavours” archway and stalls to focus attention on boutique food producers in the region.