Toowoomba’s Carnival of Flowers!

Guest blogger – Jayne Royal – Special Collections Librarian, Toowoomba Library and Cultural Services

As part of the 70th anniversary in 2019, a special display of memorabilia from the past seven decades of the Carnival of Flowers events will be curated in the Toowoomba City Hall.

A colourful float called Golden Horizons in the Carnival of Flowers parade, 1960.
Southern Cross Employee Association float called “Golden Horizons”, 1960, courtesy of the Lionel Coxen Collection, Local History and Robinson Collections, Toowoomba City Library.

Organisers are hopeful the community will contribute their personal mementos and collections to the display, inviting Queenslanders to make this year’s Carnival spectacular!
Toowoomba Regional Council Environment and Community Committee Chair, Cr. Geoff McDonald stated:- “We wish to pay tribute to the 70 years of the Carnival and hope to uncover old newspaper clippings, film footage, contemporary videos, props from the past, prize winning ribbons, trophies and photographs with reference to the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. Film footage is particularly valuable, enabling the community of Toowoomba to share the success of the Carnival with the wider community and to preserve it for the future.

Carnival Queen Anne Harber is accompanied on the Carnival Queen float by seven children in the Carnival of Flowers parade, 1970, courtesy of the William Keith Collection, Local History and Robinson Collections, Toowoomba City Library.

If you have any interesting, fun, quirky and unique items suitable for the exhibition display, contact Jayne Royal, Special Collections Librarian, Toowoomba Library and Cultural Services. She would love to hear from you and arrange to help make this year’s carnival the most spectacular of all!

A colourful  depicting a candy shop float makes its way down the street as part of the Carnival of Flowers parade in 1989.
Toowoomba’s Candy Shop with its escort of Licorice Allsorts float in the 1989 parade, courtesy of the Ernie Hills Collection, Local History and Robinson Collections, Toowoomba City Library.

Also returning during the Carnival’s 70th year from 20 – 29 September is the popular tombstone tour led by local historian Peter Cullen. Peter will explain the significance of the floral symbols used on the gravestones in the Drayton and Toowoomba cemetery on the corner of Anzac Avenue and South Street, Toowoomba. Visit the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers official website for all the events.