Foodie fun at the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers

When it comes to spring there is no celebration with more flower power than the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

It’s set to be bigger and better than ever with an extension of the usual 10-day event to an entire month!

That’ll add a little colour to your calendar!

But the Carnival is not just a feast for the eyes. Its popular food trail Toowoomba Region EATS, or trEATS, is returning to showcase local produce.

The historic Hotel Norville is among the 50 eateries offering signature floral-inspired dishes.

You’d assume as the home to one of Queensland’s largest smokers, they would serve up an incredible smoked protein but that would be expected. trEATS is all about delivering something special that you’ll only see once a year.

Their dish is in fact a twist on the surf and turf with juicy Moreton Bay Bug, prosciutto, honey walnuts and smoked pumpkin puree. Well, you didn’t think they’d leave the smoker totally out did you?

“This is Carnival of Flowers to a tee on a plate,” said Hotel owner Grace Lindsay. “It’s colourful, it’s beautiful, it’s tasty.”

Jilly’s Café is offering a dish that will leave anyone tickled pink.

A French Toast specialty with rich caramel sauce topped with pink Persian fairy floss. It’s the perfect example of what trEATS is all about.

“It’s designed to bring people to town to the Carnival,” owner Lisa Bentley said “Come and experience new foods, different foods, different flavours and brings colour! Colour to dishes, dishes that we wouldn’t normally have on the menu!”

Plenty of other events will be planted throughout the festival. Also at Jilly’s Café, there will be a flower-crown-making high tea!

Delectable delights will be served while you work away on your floral creation.

This year the Carnival of Flowers celebrates its 72nd year, but the month-long schedule is new.

“It’s the best time of the year to be in Toowoomba, the Garden City so why not celebrate it for an entire month and why not celebrate our most iconic event and make it as long as possible for as many people to enjoy it as we can?” said Councillor James O’Shea. “It’s really about gearing each weekend having a signature event.”

Of course, you can’t walk about the Carnival without a nod to the flowers and this year, there will be a staggering 190,000 flowers on display.

Also making its return, the main event of the Carnival, the Grand Central Floral Parade. The parade’s new earlier start time of 10am will mean visitors can enjoy a full day, or even a couple of days, in Toowoomba.

“You’ll see all the culture, you’ll see all the colour,” said Cr James. “See the smiles on people’s faces, to see people of all ages waving and enjoying what the tradition is. It reminds you of what makes the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers so special.”

So go on, stop and smell the flowers.

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