Tramfest Nambour. Tramfest toad races. Photo: Che Chapman / Sunshine Coast Daily
Tramfest Nambour. Tramfest toad races. Photo: Che Chapman / Sunshine Coast Daily Che Chapman

How the event that croaked jumped to new venue

COOLUM Beach's cane toad races will be happening again this Australia Day. Except it won't be the Lions Club organising the once popular event in Tickle Park.

This event was scrapped last year because of political correctness and lack of volunteers

The Coolum Beach Surf Club will be holding cane toad races in its upstairs bar venue where real live toads will hop for glory.

Food, beverage and functions manager Kirstin Martin said "absolutely anyone" could pick a toad and take part.

The founder of the original cane toad races, the Lions Clubs' Dan Knopke, was pleased the tradition was going on.

Mr Knopke started the cane toad races in the 1990s and came up with quirky form guides each year to add to the fun.

But naming one toad Sekisui and tipping its "impeccable form" caused some locals to jump up-and-down and argue it was in bad taste.

The cane toad races were then replaced with Coolum's Got Talent, which will be taking place again this year.

While it's not the first time the surf club has held cane toad races, Coolum North Shore principal, Noel Mooney, whose company sponsors the Lions Club Australia Day event, was disappointed the toads had skipped to another venue.

"It's a shame it's gone (from Tickle Park)," Mr Mooney said.

"The big thing about that was Don used to write up a form guide which was brilliant.

"But it got to him (when people complained about the toad called Sekisui).

"It really hit Don, which is a shame as he has done a lot for the town.

"Some crazy people stuff it up for everyone."

Ms Martin said the Surf Club cane toad races, which had been on for several years, is expected to start at midday.

The toads for the surf club event were still being collected and were yet to be named.

Lions Club Australia Day organiser Bruce Parkes said there may have been some discussion to reintroduce the cane toads to Tickle Park this year, but it quickly stopped.

"The last time we ran (in Tickle Park) there was a lot of controversy and put one of our members in an unhealthy situation.

"Enough was enough.

"We had a community family fun day last year and it was great family event.

"We will be going with a similar program this year, there will be music, the Australia Day awards and activities for children and adults."