Snow on the Granite Belt

Promise of snow draws in tourists

LOCALS have been waiting more than 30 years and tourists come searching for it every winter.

But it appears the wait is finally over, with forecasters all over the country predicting snow to fall on the Granite Belt this weekend.

Tourism operators have already started putting out full-house signs, retailers are frantically stocking their shops with warm winter apparel and cafes are preparing for one of the biggest weekends of the year as tourists flock to Stanthorpe.

Stanthorpe Chamber of Commerce president John Bylicki said the town was already experiencing a steady influx of visitors.

"The people are already arriving," he said.

"The good news has spread all over the state.

"I've had tourism operators coming in already telling me they're completely booked out for the weekend."

Mr Bylicki said the potential for snow would put the town back on the map.

"It's going to be a wonderful weekend regardless," he said.

"An event like this puts us back in the public eye, not just in Queensland but Australia wide."

While light falls have been recorded in high altitude towns like Eukey as little as two years ago, the last time heavy snow was recorded in the main street of Stanthorpe was a day the locals will never forget.

Maryland St retailer Debbie Wilmot said she would always remember the day snow fell in Stanthorpe on July 4, 1984.

"The last time it happened the town sold out warm clothing and film for people's cameras," she said.

"It's really good to see people so excited. Everyone who has come in today has been so happy."

Mrs Wilmot said she expected to do a roaring trade in her dress and gift store.

"People have already come in looking for warm scarves and beanies," she said.

"We might have to extend our trading hours this weekend if it does snow."

Café owner Kristy O'Brien said she was also expecting another extremely busy weekend with customers flocking to Brinx Deli for a warm meal or beverage.

"We got hammered last weekend so I expect it'll be the same this week," she said.

"We've got savoury mince for breakfast, hot coffee and there's always a yummy soup on the menu."

Ms O'Brien wasn't around the last time it snowed in town, but said she'd be very excited if it were to happen.

"I'll be the first one out in the street pegging snowballs," she said.

Showers and storms are set to develop later tonight, with a maximum temperature of 15 degrees tomorrow.

The best chance for snow will be late on the weekend with a measly top of just 8 degrees forecast for Sunday and a chilling 6 degrees on Monday. 

Stanthorpe Border Post

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