Gympie Gold Rush Twilight Parade in Mary St, Friday October 18, 2019.
Gympie Gold Rush Twilight Parade in Mary St, Friday October 18, 2019.

Gympie Council will “evaluate timing” of Gold Rush Festival

GYMPIE Regional Council has revealed it will “evaluate the timing” of next year’s Gold Rush Festival after two straight years of weather-induced cancellations.

Stormy conditions saw the majority of Saturday’s festival events scrapped, including the “Fire Carnival Event” planned for 7pm.

The added frustrations came after the council was forced to axe last year’s Gold Rush Parade due to inclement weather in the fallout of “Hailnado”.

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Gympie Gold Rush Twilight Parade in Mary St, Friday October 18, 2019.
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“Council is disappointed the night section of the event was cancelled due to the weather, however the safety of participants and the businesses/stalls involved are the priority in weather events,” a spokeswoman for the council said.

“For the staff involved in the organisation of the event, months of work has gone into planning and organising a major event of this nature and it was disappointing to not see the result or the enjoyment of those attending.

“Council will evaluate the timing of the festival, including the festival itself, noting however that October is the anniversary of the discovery of gold in the region.

“All events up to 6pm ran as programmed, with some of the races and challenges being scaled back for safety reasons. The cancellation from 6pm included the finale performance and fireworks.”

While the cancellations didn’t create any additional costs, the council conceded the shoddy conditions meant attendance was “far less than expected”.

“The Gold Mining Museum recorded 710 people through their gates that they were very pleased with,” the spokeswoman said.

Gympie Gold Rush Twilight Parade in Mary St, Friday October 18, 2019.
Gympie Gold Rush Twilight Parade in Mary St, Friday October 18, 2019.

“The Friday night Parade included 350 to 500 participants, with the crowd attending estimated at more than 3,500.

“Council would like to thank the community and residents for their support of the event and their understanding regarding the cancellation due to the storms on the night. Early feedback from the Friday night parade has been very positive.”

The festival event team were expected to carry out “formal debriefs with a variety of stakeholders” to help with planning next year’s festival, the spokeswoman said.