The eagerly anticipated Childers Festival 2023 program is officially out, promising an unforgettable experience of culture, food, and history this July. The festival, known for the unique feat of halting traffic on the bustling Bruce Highway, is set to offer an expanded program over four days.
One of the notable additions to this year’s festival is the Twilight Market, which will launch the event on Thursday. Australian blues-rock band, Joe Camilleri and The Black Sorrows, are slated to close the festival on Sunday, promising a grand finale to the annual celebration.
This year, the festival’s Saturday night will embrace a Latin American flavor. The event, aptly named Crescent Street Presents: Fiesta Latina, is expected to be a vibrant kaleidoscope of colors, tastes, and rhythms, adding a touch of heat to the winter festivities.
The festival, held in the heritage-rich streets of Childers, a quaint town west of Bundaberg and a short drive north of Brisbane, will transform the highway into a bustling food, market, and entertainment hub.
Cr John Learmonth, Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson, announced the return of festival favorites such as the Long Table Dinner, Arts in the Park, Cane Fire Tour, and Opera by the Lake, in addition to new and exciting experiences.
The festival will kick-off with the Twilight Markets, an Art Walk, and the Hill of Promise Long Table Dinner. Throughout the festival, visitors will be treated to a tranquil Picnic in the Vines and a Night of Burlesque at the Paragon.
The heart of the festival is the Fiesta Latina on Crescent Street. Festival-goers are encouraged to bring their dancing shoes to partake in salsa dancing lessons from Gold Coast Salsa’s Andre and Heidi, before enjoying the performance of renowned Cuban dance band, Chukale.
The main festival day, taking over Bruce Highway on Sunday, promises non-stop entertainment from 9 am to 3.30 pm. Two stages will feature continuous music, with the headline act being Joe Camilleri and The Black Sorrows, a band that has been a fixture on the Australian music scene for decades. Festival goers can look forward to singing along to their favorite hits like Hit and Run, Shape I’m In, Chained to the Wheel, Harley and Rose, and Never Let Me Go.
In addition to the music, the festival will host hundreds of market stalls offering a global smorgasbord of food, plus entertainment hubs scattered across the event space. A notable highlight will be the stilt walkers from Fiesta Creations, who will add an extra touch of joy to the event.
The Childers Festival is not just about entertainment; it’s also a chance to uncover the region’s history. Cr Bill Trevor, a divisional representative, highlighted the Historical Bus Tour as a great opportunity to discover the stories of heartbreak, humor, heroes, and villains that have shaped Childers.
A perennial favorite, the Sugar Mill and Cane Fire Tour, offers a taste of Childers’ sweet history, culminating in a spectacular cane fire and a barbeque dinner.
Since its modest beginnings in the mid-1990s, the Childers Festival has grown in popularity and scale. The famous market day draws more than 30,000 people, with over 300 stallholders offering everything from vintage treasures and local produce to handcrafted items and local arts and crafts.
Mark your calendar for the Childers Festival 2023, running from Thursday, 27 July to Sunday, 30 July. Visit here for more information..