Written by Mary Reader

The third weekend of July each year sees the population of Howard more than treble as the town and area celebrates its heritage. The discovery of coal in the area in 1863 put Burrum district on the map. Ninety-Four shafts and tunnels were dug employing over 400 personnel. Coal mining continued in the area for some 130 years.

The Festival opens on Saturday morning, July 15th at 9.00am, with the firing of the canon by Maryborough’s well-known Town crier and Mary Heritage. Immediately following will be a parade of vintage vehicles, floats created by community groups, animals, the Gympie Light Horse, marching bands and much more to entertain and delight everyone.

Our fantastic Museum has an extensive display of memorabilia of the Coal Mining days. At the Museum on Saturday morning at 11.00am there will be a ceremony to unveil a plaque commemorating all Burrum District Miners killed working in coal mines. Light refreshments will be available at the museum as well.

2.00pm Saturday the renowned “Sheik of Scrubby Creek” will be returning for a great performance on the stage of the Community Centre. The local ‘boy’ Chad Morgan is always popular with his rare singing style.

William St will be closed on Saturday where Buskers, and food and market stalls will be set up. There will be plenty of heritage engines and skills being demonstrated on the Village Green along with rides for children and more stalls and animal displays.

The Uniting Church Hall will be home to a marvellous Art Exhibition by the local Creative Arts Group. The CWA will be providing their famous morning teas and lunch as well as hosting a Quilt Show by local quilters along with other stalls by local crafters.

Many streets will be decorated with colourful Yarn Bombing in trees and on fences, all the work of ‘the locals’.

Don’t miss the Scarecrow display up Watkins St. as well as the street art on fences.

Torbanlea Hall will be host to an Antique and Heirloom assessor so make a booking to have your treasures valued. Lunch at the Torbanlea Miners Arms is always a good option – checkout the mural of the Pit Pony while there.

Stay overnight at Burrum River Caravan Park or Torbanlea Cabins and enjoy an evening of entertainment at the Howard School.

In the Community Centre on Sunday 16th at 10.00am there will be a combined church service.

The Village green will again be packed with stalls and entertainment and the band ‘Ginn Gang’ will be playing Bush Dancing Music from 1.00pm so get your boot scooting shoes on.

Lots to see and do but if you aren’t up to walking the town there is a Hop-On-Hop-Off bus to ferry you around. For further information Contact: info@coalfest.org.au Phone: 0484 552 995

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