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Welcome to all our visitors. If this is your first festival, you can expect a few days filled with unique events and fun. To those returning for a second or multiple time I hope we meet the high standards we’ve set in the past. Doug McNally

Committee chairman

AS USUAL this festival is organised by community volunteers and funded by generous donations. The dedication of these community-minded businesses and people over the past 25 years has made the festival the iconic event it is today. Thank you to all who have contributed over the past 25 years. Since the last festival, Chinchilla has had the addition of The Big Melon. Chinchilla was fortunate to win an online competition run by Wot-If to promote Australia’s next “big” thing. The unveiling of The Big Melon on national breakfast television brought great publicity not only for Chinchilla but this festival as well. In a natural progression of this, Wot-If are now the sponsors of the Big Melon Competition on Friday. The weigh-in is at 3pm Friday, February 15 in the main arena. Our usual line-up of quirky events is available for your participation in the arena on the school oval. These include skiing, bungy, pip-spitting, tug-o-war, iron man and chariot race. Don’t forget the free melon feast where you get the chance to eat some of Australia’s tastiest chilled watermelon for free. Please come along and enjoy yourselves. If you can’t find the information you need in this publication go to melonfest.com.au.

FRONT COVER IMAGE: Oscar and Ella Bowman at the Big Melon. Image by Jodie Williams Photography. Outfit by Little Pods Chinchilla. Melons supplied by Davfarmco.


CONTACT US: Editor: Shannon Hardy Advertising: Rachael Green and Jodie Williams Inquiries: advertising@chinchillanews.com.au Publishers Indemnity: Chinchilla Melon Festival 2019 Guide is published by News Corp Australia. Those who make advertising placement and/or supply copy material or editorial submissions to the magazine, undertake to ensure that all such material does not infringe on copyright, trademark, defamation, libel, slander or title breach of confidence, does not contain anything obscene or indecent, or does not infringe the trade practices act or other laws, regulations or statutes. Further to the above-mentioned these persons agree to indemnity the publisher and/or its agents against any investigations, claims or judgments.

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When: 6pm Where: Chinchilla Cultural Centre Cost: $20 per person

When: 8.30am-11am and 9am-11.30am Where: Pick up from Chinchilla Visitor’s Information Centre Cost: $30 per person





When: 6pm Where: Lapunyah Art Gallery



When: 12.30pm Where: Chinchilla Bowls Club



When: 8.30am-11am and 1pm-3.30pm Where: Pick up from Chinchilla Visitor’s Information Centre Cost: $30 per person ORIGIN OF GAS TOWN TOURS

When: 8.15am and 12.45pm Where: Pick up from Chinchilla Visitor’s Information Centre COME 4 LUNCH

When: 11.45am Where: Chinchilla Cultural Centre Auditorium Cost: $60 per person GREEN BOOK MOVIE PREMIERE

When: 6pm Where: Chinchilla Cinema Cost: $25 per person


When: 5.30pm Where: Chinchilla Recreation grounds Cost: $10 per person, 12 years and under free



When: 1pm Where: Chinchilla Golf Course Cost: $60 per team


When: 3pm Where: Chinchilla State School Oval BIG MELON WEIGH-IN

When: 3pm Where: Chinchilla State School Oval


When: 5pm-2am Where: Club Hotel Cost: $25, 18+ event

When: 7.30am-3.30pm Where: Heeney St

When: 9.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm Where: Chinchilla Cultural Centre STREET ENTERTAINMENT

When: 10am-3pm Where: Events are located on Heeney St, Middle St, and in the Cultural Centre MELON FESTIVAL PARADE

When: 10.30am Where: Heeney St, starting at the Club Hotel


When: 12.30pm-4pm Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval



When: 11am-midnight Where: Chinchilla State School oval, Colamba St side. Cost: $5 per person, 18+ only.


When: 6pm until late Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval Cost: Free

When: 5pm Where: Chinchilla Show Grounds Cost: $15 adults. $5 8-17yrs, under 8 free When: 6pm-11pm Where: “The Cage”, Chinchilla State School oval Cost: $45 per person, $20 10yrs and under. Under 3 free



When: 6pm until late Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval


When: 6pm sausage sizzle, 7-9.45pm movie Where: Chinchilla State School front oval Cost: free. All children must have parent or guardian supervision during the event.



When: 7am-9am Where: Fuller Place, Heeney St Cost: $12 for breakfast



When: 7am-noon Where: St Joseph’s School oval POET’S BREAKFAST

When: 7.30am-9.30am Where: Chinchilla Museum Cost: $12 for breakfast MELON BOWLS

When: noon Where: Chinchilla Bowls Club




1 Crawley Lane Chinchilla QLD 4413 Behind the Club Hotel 07 4662 7415 supplies@keithcrawleys.com.au

• Competitors must be 12/Under 1st PRIZE $100.00 | 2nd Prize $50.00 | 3rd Prize $20.00 • Judging will take place on Friday 15th February along side the Biggest Melon Competition. On the Chinchilla State School Oval From 3.00pm.

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CHINCHILLA NEWS WELCOMES YOU TO FESTIVAL’S SILVER ANNIVERSARY IT’S that time again! The 2019 Melon Festival is all ready to go and the town is well and truly bursting with enthusiasm. You can bet the Chinchilla News team will be all over the excitement like watermelon juice on a hungry kid’s chin. For everyone coming to visit for the festival, whether you’re a returning local, a frequent visitor, or someone coming by for the first time, we know you’ll have a blast - we always do. The festival committee has once again gone above and beyond to make this event happen and the continued sponsorship from local businesses goes to show how important the festival is to everyone. As you make your way around the festival, be sure to thank the volunteers whose hard work and non-stop effort keeps the event running.

This year’s festival will be bolstered by the fact that Chinchilla is now home to the Big Melon, which will no doubt keep the festival spirit alive even after the week is over. With multiple events running at all times over the main festival weekend, there will be an activity to suit everyone from music lovers and foodies to sports spectators and athletes. The 14th Chinchilla Melon Festival has you covered. So get out amongst it and keep your eyes open for the friendly Chinchilla News staff as we capture the action. Don’t be afraid to stop us and let us know what your favourite parts of the festival have been so far, we’d love to hear from you.

(Back) Jodie Williams, Susan Felix, Erika Brayshaw, Shannon Hardy, (front) Brooke Duncan, Kate McCormack, Rachael Green. PHOTO: GAYE SMITH

Authorised by the Hon David Littleproud MP, Liberal National Party, Dalby Qld

WELCOME TO THE WORLD’S LARGEST MELON FESTIVAL! Congratulations to the Chinchilla Melon Festival for a stellar event - see you at the melon skiing! PROUDLY SUPPORTING MY LOCAL COMMUNITY




E: david.littleproud.mp@aph.gov.au P: 4662 2715 www.davidlittleproud.com.au Page 5

SMILES GROW ALONG WITH THE FUN FOR some, it’s hard to remember a time when the next melon festival wasn’t just over the horizon. Beginning in 1994, the Melon Festival ran for two years consecutively before moving to its biennial schedule. Originally beginning as a way to lift spirits in the community during drought, the festival has continued to bring smiles to its growing number of attendees. The last festival in 2017 attracted crowds of about 14,000 people, over double the size of the Chinchilla community, celebrating our region’s melon farmers. A dedicated group of volunteers has kept the festival growing. The hard work put in by the committee and their volunteers doesn’t just take place over festival week. It’s a job that extends long before and far after each festival. It is through the hard work of the committee, volunteers and Chinchilla’s community that the festival took hold and has continued to go from strength to strength. Secretary of the committee, Tania Thornton, has been involved with the festival for 21 years. “I think our secret to success is ... our

DASHING: Breakfast TV host Dave Robinson from Channel 10 program Studio 10 puts in the hard yards in the 2015 Melon Dash for Cash. PHOTOS: JIM CAMPBELL, CHINCHILLA MUSEUM


Phone 4669 1188

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The melon mash in 2003.

core committee. Our executive doesn’t change a lot but we have lots of other people come on with new ideas,” Ms Thornton said. The first festival in 1994 was dampened by 60mm of rain on the Saturday but that did not deter the people of Chinchilla. President of the committee at the time, Fred Ainsworth, spoke to Chinchilla News in the week after the 1994 festival. “Australia must now know that Chinchilla is the melon-growing capital of the country,” Mr Ainsworth said. With 25 years under their belts already, the Melon Festival Committee is set to continue on this beloved local tradition.

Jimmy Swoboda and his Melon Head in 2011.

Kate Lees tries her hand at Melon Skiing in 2011.


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STANDBY: Paramedics are ready for Melon Fest.


■ Drink water. If you don’t have your water bottle on you, there are plenty of stalls around that will be selling water and often there are options available for free water as well. ■ Try to avoid too many sugary or hot drinks. Just because it’s liquid, doesn’t mean it’s helping to keep you hydrated. ■ Wear loose-fitting clothing and make sure you wear a hat when you are in the sun. ■ Make the most of the activities inside. There are cooking demonstrations, kids’ activities and a Melon Festival art competition display in the cultural centre and art gallery. ■ Keep an eye on the people around you, especially those more vulnerable like the elderly, children, or those with a medical condition.

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MELON Festival regulars will no doubt be familiar with the intense heat that covers the region in the middle of the day. While it may seem like a typical summer day, it is important to pay attention to your body and not get distracted by all the fun activities and sugary food and drink. Heat exhaustion can creep up unexpectedly and knowing the symptoms can help to head it off before it progresses to heatstroke. Chinchilla-based advanced care paramedic Anthony Downes explained that heatstroke was a more advanced stage of a heat illness. “Heat exhaustion is like our pre-warning symptoms,” Mr Downes said. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include extreme thirst, headaches, nausea and your skin getting hot to the touch. “Once we get into heat stroke, then we’re talking about people having seizures, confusion, severe cramps and fatigue, so a much more serious state,” he said. Mr Downes said the earliest warning signs of heat exhaustion were feeling generally unwell and very thirsty. In those early stages it’s important to get cool as soon as you can. “Drink some water, get to a cool place, if you can remove some clothing, cool yourself down by wetting yourself with water, like your face and head as well, and ideally just sit down and get out of that hot environment,” Mr Downes said. If you think you are suffering, or someone you are with is suffering, an extreme heat condition you should seek medical assistance. Chinchilla Ambulance Service will have additional staff covering the festival to assist.


Melon bowls.


THERE will be a couple of chances for festival goers to hit the bowling green with two social bowls days at the Chinchilla Bowls Club during the week. On Wednesday, February 13 and Sunday, February 17 regular and casual bowlers can join in the fun for a few hours. Both games have a start time of 1pm with names for Wednesday due in by 12.30pm and Sunday by 12pm.

GOLF DAY AVID golfers can take a swing on Friday afternoon, February 15, at the Melon Festival Golf Day. What better way to start the festival than an afternoon on the golf course before taking in your choice of Friday night events around town. Prizes will be up for grabs so the afternoon will be the perfect mix of social and competition. The three-ball ambrose will begin at 1.30pm, with teams requested to arrive by 1pm. Cost is $60 a team, please phone 0419 668 849 with any inquiries.

TEE OFF: Luke Dalgliesh takes a swing at the Melon Festival Golf Day in February 2017. PHOTO: ALANA CALVERT

Test your brain power at the trivia night. MAREKULIASZ


TRIVIA NIGHT IT’S time to test your melon again, with Chinchilla State High School P&C’s trivia night on Saturday, February 9. P&C president Leanne Fitzgerald said there were some great prizes up for grabs, with the first place table receiving $500, second place $300 and third place $100, along with spot prizes to be awarded throughout the night. “Just relax, chill out, have a great fun night with a few laughs,” Mrs Fitzgerald said. Teachers Brad and Helen Hubbard will be the evening’s quiz masters so be prepared for a challenging evening. Mr and Mrs Hubbard said there was a lot of fun to be had and they had more than 150 questions covering a wide range of topics and levels of difficulty. The night will be held at the Cultural Centre, with doors opening at 6pm and questions starting at 7pm. Tickets are $20 a person with tables of 10. People are encouraged to bring their own nibbles. A licensed bar will be operating on the night.

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GREEN BOOK BASED in 1962 in the American deep south, Green Book is the story of Dr Don Shirley, an African-American classical pianist, and Tony Lip, a tough-talking Italian-American bouncer from the Bronx. Dr Shirley hires Lip when he needs a driver. The movie tells the story of the unexpected bond the two men form on their journey while confronting danger and racism in a time of segregation. The Chinchilla Melon Festival committee is holding a premiere event for Green Book on Thursday, February 14 at the Chinchilla Cinema. Go along for a great night at the cinema and enjoy some nibbles and drinks before the film. Doors open at 6pm for the pre-movie function before the movie begins at 7pm. Tickets for the event are $25 per person and can be purchased at trybooking.com/book/event?eid=457494&.

MOVIE: Green Book - 2019 Melon Festival movie premiere. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED


LAUGHS: Ruby Slipperz will provide entertainment at the Come 4 Lunch event on Thursday, February 14. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

ENTERTAINMENT and good food is certainly a theme at every Melon Festival and Thursday’s Come 4 Lunch is no exception. The Uniting Church will be hosting a three-course sit-down luncheon at the Chinchilla Cultural Centre. Media personality and entertainer Ruby Slipperz will keep guests laughing with her comedy, musical numbers and whole personality. Ms Slipperz has an extensive history in the radio industry, most recently she returned to her home town of Toowoomba in 2015 to work at 92.9 Voice FM. In addition to her work in radio, Ms Slipperz has also written, directed and performed in many stage comedy productions. In between the whirlwind of entertainment from Ruby Slipperz, local musicians will be providing beautiful background music to enhance the atmosphere of the event. Doors open at 11am for pre-lunch drinks before guests can take their seats at 11.45am for their meals and the entertainment. Tickets are $60 a person and all profits will be going back into the Chinchilla community through the Uniting Church’s charity work.

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ARTISTS VIE FOR GREAT PRIZES LAPUNYAH Art Gallery has run its biennial art competition for this year’s festival. Artists from around the Western Downs Region and further afield have submitted works in a multitude of mediums to be judged. The winners will be announced on Monday, February 11 at the art show preview. Director and secretary of Lapunyah Art Gallery, Helen Dennis, said there were eight sections in the open category and two youth sections. “The competition is open to any artist across the Western Downs and beyond.” Mrs Dennis said. While most sections are quite open, she said the youth section, up to 11 years, had a melon theme. The second youth section, 11-17 years, accepts any subject in any medium. “We get some different types of (art),” Mrs Dennis said. “We do get a lot within the painting but we also have the categories for threedimensional art, which can include wearable

art, jewellery, mosaic, glass, fibre, anything like that. “We have the woodwork section, we have a fibre art two-dimensional section – a lot of people in our town are very involved with patchwork quilt making, so we get a few entries with that.” There is also the drawing section and usual two-dimensional painting, pastel, print-making mixed media section. “Probably the best known one visible to people at the moment is the melon out front of the council centre,” Mrs Dennis said. The metal melon was created by Dion Cross, who won the spatial construction category at the 2017 festival competition. For those who can’t make it to the opening night, Lapunyah Gallery will be open during festival week and on the main Saturday. “People like to come in out of the heat and have a quiet moment,” Mrs Dennis said. The competition preview night is a free event but attendees are asked to RSVP to the gallery on 4668 9908.

BITE SIZE: Duke Ivers, 5, with his entry for the 2019 Melon Festival Art Competition PHOTO: SHANNON HARDY


the best fest in the west! 6932886ac


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CHECK IT OUT: The Condabri Central Gas Processing Facility and Water Treatment Plant will be part of an Origin tour. PHOTO: ORIGIN ENERGY

INDUSTRY TOUR HOW much do you know about the gas industry around Chinchilla? Origin Energy is providing an opportunity to learn more about their industry with free “Origin of Gas” tours being offered to people attending this year’s Chinchilla Melon Festival. Origin general manager for the Condabri, Talinga and Orana assets Alex Kennedy-Clark said visitors would get to see the Condabri Central Gas Processing Facility and Water Treatment Plant, located just south of Miles. “These facilities are part of the Australia Pacific LNG project, operated by Origin,” Ms Kennedy-Clark said. “Visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about our project, ask questions about the local gas industry and get a

close-up look at a gas well. “And it’s a chance for visitors to talk with our Origin staff and learn more about how we contribute to the local community and support fabulous events like Melon Festival. “You’ll also find our people at the ‘Origin Good Energy Recharge Zone’ and you can keep up to date with all the Melon Festival action being displayed on the Origin Big Screen TV.” The tours are running on Thursday, February 14, at 8.30am and 1pm, departing from the Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre on the Warrego Highway. Bookings are essential and can be made at www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=463040& or by phoning 1800 526 369.


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JUICY CROP: Melon picking ahead of the festival.



Celebrating 2019 Chinchilla Melon Festival

wouldn’t be great this year. Weather, disease and demand can all affect how a season goes for melon farmers. Mr O’Leary’s farm was one of those affected by hail early in the season. “We didn’t get picking until nearly new year,” Mr O’Leary said. There are various stages in the life cycle of a melon, from the first sprouts of a vine seedling to the day it gets shipped off the farm, before finding its way to our tables. The farm tours will give you the chance to learn all about the process and talk to a farmer. Be sure to get in quick because secretary of the Melon Festival committee Tania Thornton said tickets to the farm tours were selling fast. Tickets for Thursday’s tour can be booked at www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=443418&. For Friday’s tour go to www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid= 443419&.

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CHINCHILLA melon grower Daryl O’Leary is giving festival-goers a chance to see behind the scenes of the melon industry with farm tours. Weather permitting, people on the tours will see different aspects of the melon industry. “They’ll just see how we grow them, the different varieties, and with a bit of luck we might be picking on those days also so they should see a bit of picking going on,” Mr O’Leary said. He said people might be surprised by how much was involved in growing melons. Farming is often a difficult industry with variables like weather and product demand dictating a season’s success. This year’s melon season has had a mixed result for farmers around the region. A hail storm early in the season destroyed crops close to Chinchilla, meaning picking could not start until much later than usual. Farms further out, which avoided the inclement weather, were experiencing good yield. Unfortunately pricing meant the return

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BIG BASH CRICKET FAST becoming a focal point of the festival, the Melon Big Bash cricket is back again for 2019. Chinchilla and District Cricket Association secretary Craig Scutchings said they had been holding the T20 game against the Bulls Masters for at least the last four Melon Festivals. “The event is our biggest fundraiser and has allowed us to provide high-quality facilities at the main Recreational Grounds in Chinchilla for the use of all teams and provide training and playing gear for the juniors of the region,” Mr Scutchings said. Crowd sizes vary, with upwards of 1500 people attending in 2013 and between 700 and 800 in other years. “The Bulls Masters have sent out high-profile players like former Australian Test and One Day players Andrew Symonds, Ryan Harris, Jimmy Maher and Stuart Law, along with numerous other high-quality players including Lee Carseldine – Australian Survivor runner-up,” Mr Scutchings said. Chinchilla local and Brisbane Heat and Bulls player Nathan Reardon has also been part of the event in previous years and will back up again for the latest match. Mr Scutchings said the Bulls Masters would provide several clinics to schools during their three-day visit, culminating in a juniors super clinic on the evening of the T20 game, prior to the game itself. “The juniors really appreciate the opportunity to meet the stars and learn new skills,” he said. The association holds a meet and greet sponsors night on the Wednesday prior to the main event.

CRICKET CRAZE: Chinchilla and District Squad v Queensland Bulls Masters at the 2015 Melon Big Bash. PHOTO: CRAIG SCUTCHINGS

“(It) allows all our valued sponsors the chance to meet the Bulls Masters players and mingle in a low-key social evening,” Mr Scutchings said. “We have local Western Downs Regional Council councillor Andrew Bluey Smith as the MC for the night, adding some local flair.”

Excitement is building for the 2019 Melon Big Bash and associated clinics.

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Bar and canteen facilities will be available for cricket-goers to grab a meal and a few drinks while they enjoy the on-field entertainment and show their support for their team of choice, Chinchilla and District or the Bulls Masters. Entry is $5, with kids under 16 free.


WHOPPERS: (Left) the Davies family wheels up their melon to be weighed at the 2017 festival; (right) the Sturgess family with their 2017 winning melon. PHOTOS: FILE

BIG MELON WEIGH-IN LONG before Chinchilla became the home of the Big Melon, local growers had been competing for the title with their own home-grown monster melons. The first title in 1994 went to Denis and Jan Dickman with their melon weighing in at 66.2kg. Over the years the contest has attracted competitors from out of town, with Bundaberg grower Garry Marsden taking the title in 2001 with his 72.5kg watermelon and the 83.6kg melon in 2005 grown in Kingaroy by D.K. and C.D. Reed. The biggest melon to win the contest was Bernie and Matt Davies’ entry in 2007, weighing in at 87.5kg. Last festival’s winner was Kyron and Bec Sturgess with their 75kg watermelon.

“I always enter it – my father’s a melon grower and we’ve always grown melons,” Mr Sturgess said. Mr Sturgess had worked with fellow melon grower Matt Davies since he was an apprentice and said there was a bit of a rivalry to see if they could beat each other. “I’ve got a few good ones coming along,” Mr Sturgess said. Mr and Mrs Sturgess’ business, Keith Crawley’s Industrial and Rural Supplies, are sponsoring the children’s round of the Big Melon Weigh-In at the 2019 festival. Wotif is sponsoring the main round of this year’s Big Melon competition. Managing director Daniel Finch said they were thrilled to be able to continue to support the Chinchilla community through

their involvement with the Big Melon Weigh-In. “Melon Fest is such an important community initiative, shining a much-needed spotlight on the farmers and locals behind Chinchilla’s melon industry,” Mr Finch said. “After the great time we had in Chinchilla in November, we’re excited to be heading back to Chinchilla and we knew the Big Melon Weigh-In was the perfect way for us to get involved. “It’s been 12 years since a new record was set, so we’re hoping this year’s Melon Weigh-In smashes the record books – just as long as it’s not bigger than the Big Melon sitting pretty next to the Chinchilla Visitor Centre.”

Mensland Chinchilla Welcomes Visitors to the 2019 Melon Festival

We are proud to support the Chinchilla Melon Festival and congratulate committees, both past and present on 25 years of wonderful festivals.

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FRIDAY FESTIVAL FEAST TEPPAN-style dishes, grazing table and a dessert buffet will cover all tastes at the Melon Committee’s Friday Festival Feast. Committee member Sally Thompson said the night was the second of its kind for the festival. “Its a relaxed evening to enjoy the oval, the open air and live music from local girl Jane Zerbst,” Mrs Thompson said. “It’s an atmosphere where people can do lots of talking, lots of eating and enjoy the background music.” Committee member Cheryl Henningsen said Base Camp and Sodexo were doing the catering. “They did an amazing meal last year, and they put a lot of effort into this,” she said. “Other than the really nice food that they do, they do these amazing melon carvings, so the guys actually get pretty excited about those.” Jane Zerbst will provide entertainment for the event which she describes as more laid back. “There’s just me, my voice and my guitar,” Zerbst said. Some artists Zerbst plans to cover during the night include Johnny Cash, Brandi Carlile, and more. Tickets for the feast are $45 for adults, $20 for children under 10, free for children under three and can be purchased from www.trybooking.com/book/event? eid=443420&. Some tickets may be on sale on the night if there are any available but pre-purchasing is advised for catering purposes.

TOP: Breifing the volunteers before guests arrived at the Friday Festival Feast, 2017 Melon Festival. LEFT: Friday Festival Feast, 2017 Melon Festival. RIGHT: One of the melon carvings at the Friday Festival Feast, 2017 Melon Festival. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED

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MELON FEST RODEO people to come along and bring their families. “Come on out and enjoy it,” Mrs Walsh said. The entertainment will continue after the dust settles with a DJ keeping the energy going. The rodeo is part of the National Rodeo Association calendar for this year and there will be points and prize money up for grabs. Bulls and broncs will be provided by Rick Knudson, Weller Rodeo Productions, BK Bucking Bulls and Robert Bunn.

FRIDAY night will well and truly herald in the action of Melon Festival weekend with the rodeo at Chinchilla Showgrounds. Bulls, saddle and bareback broncs and barrel racing will keep the audience on the edge of their seats as they take in the action-packed event. Food trucks will be on hand to keep audiences well fed while they enjoy the entertainment and a bar will be operating. Chinchilla Show Society president Lisa Walsh encouraged


ABOVE: Dalby’s Jessie Nott in the barrel race at the Chinchilla Melon Festival Rodeo. TOP RIGHT: The Chinchilla Melon Festival Rodeo attracted huge crowds, nominations and prize money. RIGHT: The Chinchilla Melon Festival Rodeo attracted huge crowds, nominations and prize money. PHOTO: ALANA CALVERT, JESSICA COURTNIE PHOTOGRAPHY




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BEACH PARTY TIME WHO would have thought you could find a beach party four hours from the closest ocean? The Club Hotel has again organised a night of fun in the sand (roughly 40 tonnes of it) to herald in a jam-packed weekend. With three stages running throughout the night plus a mechanical bull, party-goers will be spoilt for choice. Club Hotel general manager Ross Bowen said the two stages inside the pub would be rotating DJs who had played the past few years at the Beach Party. “The headline act for the main stage in Mick Lindsay,” Mr Bowen said. “(Mick) has just got back from a trip to Nashville to record an album so I’m sure there’ll be plenty happening with Mick very shortly. “We’ve also got Jediah, who’s a local Toowoomba-based party tunes artist so he’ll be starting the night of the live music on the main stage. “Mick and Jed will be playing alternating sets with the DJs as well.” Gates open at 5pm and the action won’t stop until 2am. “It’s about nine hours’ worth of partying and good times,” Mr Bowen said. There will be two bars inside the hotel

SOUNDS GREAT: Mick Lindsay will be headlining the 2019 Melon Festival Beach Party. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

and outside there will be three can bars and a container bar that will serve draft beer. There will also be food trucks operating to grab a bite to eat throughout the night. Coaches will be running a shuttle service from the major camping and accommodation sites around town and

they will also be doing drop-offs to those sites after the event to ensure everyone can have a fun and safe night. Tickets to the beach party are $25 a person and can be purchased through Eventbrite. This is an 18-plus event.

Live music will be playing well into the night, complemented by bars, food trucks and shuttle buses to ensure a fun and safe night for all.

Page 18

BREKKIE WITH POETS SATURDAY and Sunday mornings there will be the chance to get a delicious barbecue breakfast from the Chinchilla Cancer Council committee and listen to some wonderful bush poetry. Three great Australian bush poets – Gary Fogarty, Melanie Hall and Susie Carcary – will be performing at Fuller Place for the Saturday morning breakfast. Mr Fogarty, who has performed at the Chinchilla Melon Festival many times before, said people could expect a good laugh from the bush poetry. “Modern day bush poetry is very heavily based in humour,” he said. Speaking of his fellow performers, Mr Fogarty said they were very popular. “Mel and Suzie perform most often as a duet,” he said. The women are currently based at Lightning Ridge, entertaining the tourists there. Local Cancer Council committee president Lorna Gadsby said on Saturday morning they would turn Fuller Place into a

LEFT: Melanie Hall and Susie Carary will be performing at the poet’s breakfast. RIGHT: Bush poet Gary Fogarty will also entertain. PHOTOS: CONTRIBUTED kitchen to cook breakfast. “We do a barbecue breakfast with the bacon, eggs, tomato and toast, tea and coffee, and a slice of watermelon,” Mrs Gadsby said. “Last year we did about five or six hundred down town and then on the Sunday morning we went up to the museum and did approximately the same.”

Mrs Gadsby said the Chinchilla community was very wonderful to the Cancer Council. Breakfast is only $12 per person so head down to Fuller Place for a good meal supporting a good cause and some wonderful entertainment from talented bush poets to start the full day that is festival Saturday.


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PROUD TO PARADE: Elizabeth Irwin and Petrice Bender in the 2011 parade. PHOTOS: TANIA THORNTON, ALANA CALVERT

SATURDAY is non-stop for festival-goers. Early risers can browse through the markets and grab themselves some fantastic merchandise of all kinds before the rest of the town comes out in force to watch the centrepiece of the festival – the parade. The Melon Festival parade, sponsored by MPC Kinetic, features floats from all parts of the Chinchilla community proceeding down

“We’re expecting lots of colour,” Ms Thornton said. “We’re also expecting there could be some parade floats that go through the last 25 years’ festivals.” Frequent festival-goers will no doubt have their favourite sections of the parade. Melon growers from around the region often enter floats from their farms, giving


Heeney Street. Starting at 10.30am, the parade is a chance for businesses, clubs, community groups, schools and individuals to get into the spirit of the festival and entertain onlookers. Secretary of the Melon Festival committee, Tania Thornton, said the parade theme for this year’s festival is Silver, 25 years and all things melon.



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ABOVE LEFT: 'The Pink and Green Time Machine' in the Melon Festival Street Parade on Saturday. ABOVE RIGHT: 2017 melon fest parade.

people the chance to see who grows and picks the amazing melons that started and continue to fuel the festival. Many children from the schools in Chinchilla ride on floats they and their teachers decorate, or march with school bands to provide a soundtrack as the procession passes down the street. A great display of vintage and new cars and machinery is always a large section

of the parade with new additions every year and familiar favourites returning. After the parade wraps up, stallholders will continue to sell their wares and food stalls will offer people a great variety of tasty treats. Arena events on the Chinchilla State School Oval also kick off not long after the parade concludes.

The 2017 Melon Festival parade in Chinchilla. PHOTO: FILE

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READY TO ROCKY ROLL A NEW event – the Rocky Roll – will give kids more of a chance to get into the melon games. In the Arrow Energy-sponsored event, primaryschool-aged children can compete to see who can roll a rockmelon the furthest. “This event brings smaller children into the thick of the melon action,” Arrow Energy vice-president external relations and tenure management Leisa Elder said. “It’s the family nature of this festival that has sustained it for 25 years. “In another 25 years, these primary schoolers are probably going to be running the whole festival.”

MUSICAL FUN: Memphis Moovers bringing tunes to the festival.

LET THE MUSIC MOOVE YOU THERE is always plenty of entertainment on festival Saturday but what about entertainment that comes to you? The Memphis Moovers will be back again this year, with their talent and flair drawing attention as they rove the festival area. Arrow Energy sponsored the Moovers’ appearance this year and vice-president external relations and tenure management Leisa Elder said the Moovers would bring a soundtrack that is going to help make the 25th anniversary of the Chinchilla Melon Festival one to remember. “Festivals need music and the Memphis Moovers deliver it – 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s,” Ms Elder said. “The Moovers have it wrapped up in a package that drives about in a novelty car and sets up where it looks like people need a hit of rock ‘n’ roll. “Your ears can expect anything from a solid Elvis toe-tapper to a Led Zeppelin ground-shaker.” Catch the Memphis Moovers as they rove the Chinchilla CBD from 10am–3pm.

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SHOWTIME FMX SHOWTIME FMX will be stunning crowds with their stunts during three shows on Saturday. Betta Home Living sponsors the team nationwide and Chinchilla store manager Mark Blond said they were lucky enough to work with the Melon Festival to get the FMX guys out again. “It’s important to get behind these local events and expose Chinchilla to the rest of the world,” Mr Blond said. “We’re looking forward to having the guys back in town because they put on such a good show last time.” The Showtime FMX riders will be performing on Middle St at 1pm, 3pm and 5pm. Between shows there will be opportunities for people to get autographs and pictures with the riders.

WOW: Showtime FMX sponsored by Betta Home Living. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED



COOK UP: Chef Matt Golinski will be giving demonstrations at the 2019 Melon Festival. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED

CHEF Matt Golinski will be demonstrating different ways to use melons in food at the Cultural Centre on Saturday, February 16. “I’m doing four cooking demonstrations throughout the day so I can’t make four fruit salads,” Mr Golinski said. “My plan is to show ways of using melons that people may not have really thought of before.” Mr Golinski explained there were savoury ways of using melons, not just eating them as sweets. “Other cultures throughout the world look at things like watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons in a different way,” he said. “In Australian we kind of just chop them up and eat them as they are but for example in Japan, and in a lot of countries, they sprinkle watermelon with salt or have it with fetta or things like that so it’s a balance of sweet and saltiness. “It’s quite nice, it’s a little bit in the same vein as salted caramel is a thing now, it’s all about that balance of sweet and salt.” Mr Golinski travels though the area for Easter in the Country at Roma each year and stops at Chinchilla on the way out. “Over the years I’ve always heard about the Chinchilla Melon Festival and been hoping that one day they’d call me and ask me to come to it so my dream’s come true this year.” Festival-goers can see Mr Golinski’s demonstrations at 9.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm in the Cultural Centre.

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POWER UP FOR THE PIPSPITTING COMPETITION CS Energy CS ENERGY is proud to again be sponsoring the Pip-Spitting Competition at the Chinchilla Melon Festival. The “spit-tacular” event will be held on Saturday, February 16, in the main arena at Chinchilla State School from 12.30–3.30pm. To enter, simply head to CS Energy’s marquee and show how far you can spit a melon seed. Competitors can test their pip-spitting skills in one of two heats – heat one is 12.30–2pm and heat two is 2–3.30pm. The top five spitters from each heat will be invited back to re-spit in the 10-person final at 3.30pm, with trophies up for grabs for winners in junior and open categories. CS Energy Kogan Creek Power Station general manager Phil Matha said the Pip-Spitting Competition at the last Melon Festival in 2017 was hotly contested and the 2019 event promised to be just as popular. “The Melon Pip-Spitting Competition is a fantastic event for all of the family,” Mr Matha said. “But you’ve got to be in it to win it, so don’t be pipped at the post. “Come down to the CS Energy marquee to enter.”

A finalist in 2017’s Pip-Spitting Competition.

Page 24

TOP SEED: Miguel Maestre from Channel 10 program The Living Room has a crack at the Pip-Spitting Competition at the 2017 Chinchilla Melon Festival.


DIVE INTO THE FUN TESTS of talent and determination will take place in the arena on the Chinchilla State School oval during the bulk of Saturday afternoon. Festival-goers will have their pick of tried and tested sports, some done in the traditional way, others with improvements in place for the new festival. There are even a couple of new activities this year. To participate you must register at the QGC tent located at the north-east corner of the arena. Once you have completed the registration forms you will be issued an arm band that allows you to participate in the event. Participants under 18 years of age will need a parent or guardian to sign their forms.


At noon you can put your fitness to the test with the Dash for Cash. The aim is to be the fastest to the finish line while carrying a melon that must remain intact. Competitors must be wearing enclosed footwear and have a registration band to participate.


Jump on a bike and create your own pedal-powered smoothie. Just one of the many ways to enjoy some excellent locally grown watermelons. This event will run from noon to 4pm.


Squelch your feet into a couple of melons, buckle up your helmet and hold on tight as you are towed down the ski strip. Will you make it to the end on your own two feet or be dragged through the melon guts? You can give this a go from 12.30pm to 4pm.

HOLD ON: Melon skiing at the 2017 Chinchilla Melon Festival.


Teams of four strap themselves into a bungy rope and compete to see who can reach their melon first. Think it sounds easy? Don’t forget you’re on a mat covered in slippery watermelon. Test your strength against your mates with melon bungy between 12.30pm and 4pm.


Classic tug-of-war is great, but why not give it a go on a melon covered mat for an extra challenge? Grab your team and give the Slip, Dip and Pull a go on the arena between 12.30pm and 4pm.


Gather around to see local legends and celebrities – the generous sponsors who help make the festival a reality – compete in a melon eating competition. Participants must eat as much melon as they can in a set time without using their hands. Be sure not to miss this spectacle at 3pm.


Chariots will take to the arena at 4pm,


displaying the strength and skill of teams tasked with getting their ride around an entire lap. Entrants will build their chariots from melon packing cartons, pallets, and ready-made axles before taking to the course. The aim is for the teams to complete an entire lap without falling from their chariot. Participants in the Melon Chariot Race must wear enclosed footwear.


In a test of team work, competitors will pair up to compete for the title of Melon IronMan and IronWoman. Each team will need to showcase their abilities on a circuit consisting of obstacles, challenges and tasks designed to display the physicality of the melon ind ustry. The winners will be the team who completes the course in the shortest time with their melon intact. There is a maximum of 20 male and 20 female teams for the Melon IronMan/Woman event.

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Leichhardt House managers’, Shaun and China Hall have an extensive background in residential education which has enabled them to have a well-developed understanding of many of the difficulties facing young people living away from home, some for the first time. Shaun and China see the value in developing and maintaining good systems and structures as the basis for this friendly and happy community. Features of the service at Leichhardt House include: all meals including fresh lunches made daily; formal study sessions with access to Maths and English teachers; uniform laundered daily; modern and secure facilities and accommodation; access to community activities such as swimming; music; sports; art.



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Page 25

SATURDAY NIGHT CONCERT AFTER a day of fun in the sun, the family concert on the Chinchilla State Primary School oval will be the perfect way to wind down. Bring your picnic blanket or camp chairs and enjoy a night of music surrounded by other festival-goers. Numerous acts will grace the stage with Mental as Anything headlining the night. Mental as Anything’s vocalist Andrew “Greedy” Smith said he was keen to get out and explore some uncharted territory as the band approached the Western Downs. “It will be our first visit to Chinchilla, and it’s a rare thing that we haven’t visited a place. We’ve done that much touring over the years,” Smith said. Melon Festival committee president Doug McNally said he thought it would be a really good party.

COUNTRY MUSIC: Eight Second Ride will be playing at the 2019 Chinchilla Melon Festival family concert. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED “I’ve seen (Mental as Anything) in concert once before,” Mr McNally said. Support acts Ban Solo and Eight Second Ride will get the night started on a high energy note. Eight Second Ride frontman Matt Sneddon said they were excited to be bringing the show to Chinchilla. “We have played in the region before and we know they like their country music,” Sneddon said. “We are looking forward to showcasing what we can do and showing off some new songs as well.” “We’re going to give it all we’ve got.” A laser light show sponsored by CS Energy will also wow audiences at the concert. CS Energy Kogan Creek Power Station

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ABOVE: Mental as Anything will be headlining the 2019 Chinchilla Melon Festival family concert. RIGHT: Laser Light Show 2017 Melon Fest - Chinchilla Melon Fest. PHOTO: CONTRIBUTED, CS ENERGY place for Melon Fest visitors to unwind after all of the action in the melon arena earlier in the day.” For festival-goers over 18, “The Cage” will be operating at the Colamba Street side of the Chinchilla State School Oval from 11am Saturday until midnight. Entry is $5 and entertainment will be available with Eight Second Ride playing after the conclusion of the family concert.




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general manager Phil Matha said the company was proud to sponsor the Laser Light Show at the 2019 Chinchilla Melon Festival. “As a company whose core business is generating electricity, CS Energy is proud to sponsor an event that will literally light up the night at the Chinchilla Melon Festival,” Mr Matha said. “The Laser Light Show will the perfect

Page 27

CLOSE IT OUT WITH A SUNDAY WIND DOWN WHILE most of the grand activities will occupy festival-goers over Friday and Saturday, there’s still a few events on Sunday, February 17 to bring the festival to a close. Markets will be hosted on the St Joseph’s School oval from 7am to noon for those wanting to browse the wares on offer. The Poet’s Breakfast will be on again at the Chinchilla Museum from 7.30am to 9.30am. Guests are asked to bring their own chair to sit and enjoy some bush poetry. Walk-up poets are welcome. A combined churches service will be held at the Chinchilla Cultural Centre from 10.30am featuring guest preacher Simon Ward. A morning tea will follow the service. Breakfast is available to purchase from the Queensland Cancer Council for $12 per person. The Chinchilla Museum will also have its miniature train running at a cost of $2 per person. Don’t forget to walk around the museum and take in their displays on the various facets of Chinchilla’s history and the surrounding areas. Chinchilla Bowls Club will be hosting a social bowls afternoon for anyone who wants to join the fun on the green.

ROLL ON IN: Sunday lawn bowls are great fun. Names must be in by noon with the game starting at 1pm. While Sunday may signal the end to

PHOTO: FILE another festival, you can be sure that the Melon Fest committee will already have their minds on 2021.

Chinchilla Museum is a beautiful spot to unwind on Sunday morning and listen to some bush poetry.

Page 28



For all your 2019 Melon Festival merchandise When: 7am-5pm Where: 63 Heeney Street

Melon Dash for Cash in 2011. PHOTO: FILE


When: 7-9am Where: Fuller Place, Heeney Street Cost: $12 for breakfast


When: 3pm Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval


When: 7.30am-3.30pm Where: Heeney Street



When: 9am-3pm Where: Cultural Centre Auditorium Cost: Free CHEF – MATT GOLINSKI

When: 9.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm Where: Chinchilla Cultural Centre


When: 10am-3pm Where: roving around Heeney Street MELON FESTIVAL PARADE

When: 10.30am Where: Heeney Street, starting at the Club Hotel

Frenchy Aurenie Narcher Melon Skiing in 2013. PHOTO: HARRY CLARKE

When: 3pm Where: Fuller Place


When: heats throughout the day with finals at 3.30pm Where: CS Energy tent on the Chinchilla State School Oval


When: 4pm Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval


When: Assemble 4pm, start 4.30pm Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval

When: Noon-4pm Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval

When: 12.30pm-3pm Where: Fuller Place, Heeney Street

When: 12.30pm-4pm Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval






When: 11am-midnight Where: Chinchilla State School Oval, Colamba Street side. Cost: $5 per person, 18+ only.



When: 6pm until late Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval Cost: Free



When: 6pm until late Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval




When: 1pm and 2.30pm Where: Chinchilla Cultural Centre Auditorium


When: 12.30pm-4pm Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval When: 12.30-4pm Where: Arena, Chinchilla State School Oval

When: 1pm Where: State School assembely building

When: Heeney Street Where: Noon



When: Noon, 2pm and 3pm Where: Chinchilla Cultural Centre Foyer

When: 1pm, 3pm and 5pm Where: Middle Street


When: Noon-4pm Where: Middle Street, outside Anglican Church

When: 3pm Where: Under the big tree on the Chinchilla State School Oval


When: 6pm-2am Where: Commercial Hotel Chinchilla

When: 8pm till late Where: Club Hotel Chinchilla

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Home of the

BIG MELON 14-17 February 2019


Festival Highlights include

Check online for heaps more!

• Melon Farm Tours • Big Melon Weigh In • Friday Festival Feast • Poets Breakfast • Quality Crafts, Fashion & Food Markets


• Melon Skiing and lots of other hilarious melon events. • Street Parade • Family Concert • Melon Golf & Melon Bowls • FMX Stunt Show

Enquiries: 0488 737 060

Profile for NRM Custom Publishing

Chinchilla Melon Festival 2019  

Chinchilla Melon Festival 2019