She’ll be apples: Wait over with festival just 24 hours away
STANTHORPE'S biggest event and one of Queensland's premier festivals is just over 24 hours away.
The 2020 Apple and Grape Festival swings into gear tomorrow at 6pm in the main street piazza with the turning on of the lights.
If there's one man who knows the importance of the festival to the region, it's Greg Thouard.
The former festival president and current vice president has never missed a single festival.
"My first was in 1955 when it was the Apple Blossom Festival.
"I can remember being five years old and wandering down the street to see it all.
"Then it became Apple and Grape Festival in 1966 and I've never missed one.
"I'd like to say it's a lie but I'm telling the truth. It's such a terrific event.
"I'm really looking forward to this weekend and hope the opening on Friday night will go off like an explosion and be an indicator of what's to come," he said.
At a time when attracting tourists to the region is so paramount, the festival is the perfect excuse for people to make their way to the Granite Belt.
That's exactly what Bob and Sherie Carroll from Tweed Heads have done.
"The town has a real buzz about it," Mrs Carroll said.
"Everywhere looks busy and there's lots of people roaming the streets already.
"We didn't intentionally organise a holiday here for Apple and Grape," Mr Carroll said.
"But we're excited we'll get to see some of the events on the opening weekend.
"Bit disappointed we won't be here for the main weekend."
Previous festival's have welcomed in upwards of 100,000 people to the area.
Exposure is only set to grow nationwide, with the Today Show, ABC and Queensland Weekender all set to film in the town over coming days.
"At this stage of proceedings, everything is looking really good," festival president Max Hunter said.
"The highlights for most is the main weekend but I think we've got a fair bit on during the week to keep people entertained as well.
"We have record entries for the busking this Saturday.
"The festival's main criteria is to promote our produce, the lifestyle and heritage of the area and I think it does that.
"I've been to quite a few other festivals around Queensland and not many meet the standard of this one," Mr Hunter said.