Returning to Queens Park and Portside precinct in Maryborough on Sunday 2nd July 2023 for its 16-year anniversary, this year the much-loved event showcases the depth of Maryborough’s history and ‘Storytelling through time’.
This year’s Mary Poppins Festival celebrates 150 years since the original Mary Ann locomotive was built in the heritage city and the first built in Queensland! Built by John Walker & Co. Ltd. in 1873, now recognised internationally as the Downer Group, the loco was built for timber pioneers William Pettigrew and William Sim who used the Mary Ann to haul logs in the Tin Can Bay area.
The replica Mary Ann was built in Maryborough by WM Olds & Sons Pty. Ltd as a tourist attraction and is operated by volunteers of the Maryborough Whistle Stop Inc on railway tracks in Queens Park at
designated times. Many businesses and individuals have contributed to making the Mary Ann dream become a reality.
Festival goers can step back in time and grasp the history of one of Queensland’s oldest rail lines, shipping channels and industrial estates by jumping on the Mary Ann replica who will be lugging guests along the scenic route of the Mary River as part of the Mary Poppins festival experience. The Downer Group will host a tent at the Mary Poppins Festival with a bird’s eye view of the free heritage train display which includes Loco B15 No.299, 2 DH Locos and the last steam train built in Australia BC class Loco 1089.
Suitable for all ages, the festival guarantees to delight the young and the young at heart with plenty of exhibitions, performances and entertainment for the whole family including Uptown Brown one-man band, Children’s author Deano Yipadee, Kaitlins Aerials and Dance Academy, Glen the Magician, and an array of talented local performers.
Celebrate creativity and imagination on the day with fun and interactive activities that transcend into the joy of storytelling including Mary Poppins bag scavenger hunt, a colouring competition, exhibitions and painting your own kite or umbrella! Dress up as your favourite character or sign up on the day to compete in the Great Nanny Race or Chimney Sweep Challenge.
Festival goers can join the Grand Parade at 2 pm, unite with an array of colourful floats and entertainers filling the streets with their musical vibes, before the highly anticipated Grand finale, an inspiring exhibition filled with music and song.
The Mary Poppins Festival celebrates all the historic stories connected to Maryborough’s past and the imaginative stories written by author PL Travers who was born in the heritage listed building in Maryborough now known as the Story Bank. The bank of stories has become a huge tourist attraction where the magic of Poppins continues to delight children and story enthusiasts.
For more information on the Mary Poppins Festival follow @frasercoastevents on Facebook and Instagram and visit the website www.marypoppinsfestival.com.au.
Article supplied by Fraser Coast Tourism and Events
Photo by Kim Parnell – What’s On Fraser Coast