Carnival of Flowers Toowoomba style

Guest blogger – Jayne Royal - Special Collections Librarian, Toowoomba Library and Cultural Services

As part of the 70th anniversary in 2019, a special display of memorabilia from the previous seven decades of the Carnival of Flowers events were displayed in the Toowoomba City Hall.

Southern Cross Employee Association float called "Golden Horizons", 1960, courtesy of the Lionel Coxen Collection, Local History and Robinson Collections, Toowoomba City Library.

Organisers encouraged the community to contribute their personal mementos and collections to the display making the event a Carnival spectacular!

Toowoomba Regional Council's Environment and Community Committee Chair, Cr. Geoff McDonald stated:- “We wish to pay tribute to the 70 years of the Carnival and hope to uncover old newspaper clippings, film footage, contemporary videos, props from the past, prize winning ribbons, trophies and photographs with reference to the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers. Film footage is particularly valuable, enabling the community of Toowoomba to share the success of the Carnival with the wider community and to preserve it for the future.

Carnival Queen Anne Harber is accompanied on the Carnival Queen float by seven children in the Carnival of Flowers parade, 1970, courtesy of the William Keith Collection, Local History and Robinson Collections, Toowoomba City Library.

Anyone with interesting, quirky or unique items were asked to contact Jayne Royal, Special Collections Librarian, Toowoomba Library and Cultural Services. The images of past Carnival events used in this article sit with the Local History and Robinson collections of the Toowoomba City Library.

Toowoomba’s Candy Shop with its escort of Licorice Allsorts float in the 1989 parade, courtesy of the Ernie Hills Collection, Local History and Robinson Collections, Toowoomba City Library.

As part of the Carnival’s 70th year (20 – 29 September) local historian Peter Cullen conducted tours of Toowoomba's cemeteries to explain the significance of floral symbols used on gravestones in the Drayton and Toowoomba cemetery, corner of Anzac Avenue and South Street, Toowoomba.

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