SWAY ALONG: Marissa Whitely, Kathleen Ces and Jonafe Manzano will tell the history of the Philippines through dance at O'Mahony's Hotel from 2pm today.
SWAY ALONG: Marissa Whitely, Kathleen Ces and Jonafe Manzano will tell the history of the Philippines through dance at O'Mahony's Hotel from 2pm today. Michael Nolan

Heritage festival is fighting to protect our past

THE organisers of the Southern Downs Heritage Festival have reported big attended numbers events across the region in the past week.

Janice Flood co-ordinates the event and said it has been a real benefit to tourism operators and hospitality businesses.

"I was talking to one of the caravan park operators who said two families were about to check out but decided to stay when they heard the festival was one,” she said.

"The festival has a lot of things for families to do.”

There are reported the Criterion Hotel sold out of lamb brains when launched it old-fashion food menu last week, Swan Creek was inundated with the visitors for its display of vintage woodcutting equipment and Deborah Wheeler was booked out for her Forgotten Anzacs talk.

The festival has run for the past four years.

Mrs Flood said she launched the event to bring the disparate historic societies and community groups today.

"Everybody was struggling on their own and I thought if we got together we could do better,” she said.

"This year 15 community groups host 24 events.”

The events generate much-needed revenue for the participating community groups.

While this is welcome, Mrs Flood said the real benefit is awareness.

”The festival is about pulling us together to make sure we don't lose our heritage,” she said.

"You can't value heritage if you don't know it is out there.”

To end the festival ends the Filipino community hosting an evening of storytelling through traditional dance and pantomime at O'Mahoney's Hotel, starting 2pm today.

The festival is preliminary self-funded but it also received a $1150 grant from the Southern Downs Regional Council Grants for Community Program.

Southern Downs Heritage Festival Guide

-Gallery 22 exhibition: Criterion Hotel Ballroom, May 4-5, 10am-4pm, May 6 10am-2pm, free.

-Railway photo exhibition: Killarney Heritage Centre, today and tomorrow, 10am-2pm, $5.

-Cemetery guided tour: Today, 9am, Wentworth St, near the war graves. Gold coin donation.

-Town Crier tours of the CBD of Warwick: Meet at Town Hall, today and tomorrow, 11.30am. Gold coin donation.

-Author Talks: Our Forgotten Anzacs with Deborah Wheeler: Today and tomorrow, 10-11am, 134 Grafton St, $12, includes Devonshire tea.

-Abbey of the Roses Lunch: Today, noon, lunch followed by a guided tour. $38.50. Booking essential.

-Allora Historical Society Museum: Today and tomorrow 1-3.30pm, 42 Drayton St, $5.

-An Afternoon of Filipino Culture, Traditions and Hospitality: Today, 2pm, O'Mahony's Hotel, Grafton St, $20. Filipino afternoon tea included.

-Kitchenalia Retro Exhibition, Killarney Art Gallery, today and tomorrow 10am- 2pm.



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