MUST SEE: Six festival events you can’t miss
FOR ten wonderful days the region is set to be transformed for Stanthorpe’s iconic Apple and Grape Festival.
One of Queensland’s longest running events, the festival lures up to 100,000 people to the region.
It all gets under way this Friday, February 28 from 6pm and runs through to Sunday, March 8 at 6pm with the Food and Wine Fiesta.
There are countless events spread across the duration of the festival, but we’ve picked out six events you can’t miss.
Lights, camera, action
ORGANISERS are inviting the community to kick off the event with a free street party this Friday evening (February 28).
Sponsored by Ergon Energy, the official Turning on the Festival Lights is a chance to meet festival mascots Jonathan Apple and Isabella Grape.
Head along to the main street piazza and enjoy music by local band Aqua Bevi from 6pm and join in the countdown to the turning on of the festival lights at 7pm.
The honorary Ambassadors for the 2020 Festival will also be announced at the event, where they will be joined by the 2018 Festival Young Ambassadors.
“The Turning of the Lights, marking the start of 10-days of events, is a milestone for the committee who have been working hard to plan a great program of events and entertainment,” festival president Max Hunter said.
Toe-tapping good time
APPLE and Grape Harvest Festival also promises festival-goers a toe-tapping good time when the town hosts the Australian National Busking Championships South East Queensland Regional Finals on Saturday, February 29.
Buskers from around South East Queensland will converge on Stanthorpe, filling the streets with music and complimenting a range of family entertainment on offer during the first weekend of the festival.
“We love hosting the regional busking championships as part of Apple and Grape and we’re always excited to see who comes out of the woodwork to sing and play up a storm,” festival vice president Greg Thouard said.
Music gets under way from 8am in Stanthorpe’s CBD, culminating with the finalists performing a free concert at Stanthorpe Civic Centre at 4pm.
An apple a day …
ON Apple Day, Thursday, March 5, there will be the apple pie competition and apple jelly competition.
Don’t forget to register for the longest apple peel competition.
Toffee apple demonstration afterwards.
The reigning longest apple peeling champion, Kerrie Stratford, will return to defend her title, on the back of her impressive 6.1m apple peel result at the last festival.
Throughout the morning see Paddock to Piazza cooking demonstrations as well.
Parading the main drag
A FESTIVAL highlight is the Channel 7 Grand Parade which sweeps through Stanthorpe’s main street on Saturday, March 7 from 2pm in a colourful celebration of community and the Granite Belt harvest.
The parade runs along High and Maryland Streets.
Straight after the parade the marching and brass bands will all gather in the main street for a bands finale, from approximately 2.30pm to 3pm.
JUST after the Grand Parade, the iconic Grape Crush – the epitome of harvest celebration is staged in the main street of Stanthorpe, in the area outside the Stanthorpe Post Office at 4pm.
Watch the contenders battle it out to see who has the fastest feet and who will take out the title of Queensland Grape Crushing Champion 2020.
Party in the park
THE Heritage Bank Food and Wine Fiesta is on Friday 6, Saturday 7 and Sunday, March 8 – the main festival weekend.
Bring a picnic blanket, or find a festival picnic table under the trees in Weeroona Park and relax and enjoy the onstage entertainment and food and wine delights.
Tickets are $5 on Friday and $10 Saturday and Sunday. Under 18s are free.
Entertainment gets under way from 5pm on Friday 6 and, 10am-9pm on Saturday and 10am-6pm on Sunday 8.
There’s an eclectic array of music with performances from Tim Gaze, Little Steely Brothers, Electrik Lemonade, Sleeping Dogs and Mitch King among others.
Visit https://appleandgrape.org/ for lots more information.