Warm reception for winter festival
THE Granite Belt may have just seen the back of weeks in the high 30s.
But there was a reminder winter is - eventually - coming when Snowflakes in Stanthorpe officially launched on Friday night.
President Brett Boatfield said the launch was a success and he was looking forward to the event, from June 30 to July 2.
Mr Boatfield said fundraising kicked off when Connie and Ray Taylor kept their vow to buy his Snowflakes beanie for $1000.
"We got it framed up by Furniture One... as a thank-you for supporting our event," he said.
He said the turnout of 12,000 people was a learning curve in 2016.
"We learnt a lot about people management and vehicle management," Mr Boatfield said.
Friday, June 30 will have Stanthorpe's main street closed off for the afternoon, giving way to local markets, a whip-cracking display from Kent Saddlery, music and more.
New this year will be a kids' dress-up parade, chainsaw demonstration and cocktail talent from Viscosity.
The following days, the event will move to the Stanthorpe Snowgrounds for snow-filled fun.
This will feature a larger ice-skating rink in the exhibition centre, two snowglobes and more than 100 stalls. This year, there will also be a climbing wall, pillow pipe bash, Velcro wall and petting zoo, jumping castles and face painting.
Mr Boatfield said Southern Downs Regional Council's manager for economic development and tourism Scott Templeman estimated the event channelled about $1.1 million into the region last year.
"This demonstrates the flow-on effect regional events have in country towns, and this injection of funds into Stanthorpe's economy is a fantastic outcome, one we hope to repeat in 2017," he said.