Huge celebration of local food, drink almost here
THE hugely popular celebration of the incredible food and drink produced in our own backyard is almost here.
The Scenic Rim Eat Local Week was set to celebrate its 10th anniversary last year but COVID-19 forced its cancellation.
It was a big blow for the region, with the 2019 food festival bringing in about $2 million to the local economy and attracting more than 40,000 people.
Dates for the 2021 festival were locked in soon after last year’s festival was cancelled.
With its biggest program yet, the 2021 event is being held between June 26 and July 4.
The Winter Harvest Festival will be held from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, July 3 at Aratula.
Bookings are now open for more than 125 events, ranging from farm tours, workshops, tastings and plenty more, with the event’s program launched on Friday.
It started in 2011 as an idea between local producers, farmers and tourism operators to shine a light on what is coming out of the south east’s hidden gem and the people behind it.
With just 10 events in its first year, the festival has grown in leaps and bounds since, with Scenic Rim Regional Council coming on board in 2012.
The event has been the catalyst for new ideas and collaborations which has produced carrot beer, sheep and cow milk stout, beetroot and carrot bread, camel milk vodka and plenty more.
“Since its inception in 2011, Scenic Rim Eat Local Week has gone from strength-to-strength and this year will be no different,” Mayor Greg Christensen said.
“Locals and visitors can expect a jam-packed calendar full of their favourite events for foodies of all ages, from long table lunches and degustation dinners, to farm-gates and family fun at the Winter Harvest Festival.
“We’ll also have a range of new activities to sink your teeth into, such as the Decade of Delicious event where you can celebrate the memories over the past 10 years.
“After a year of cancelled events across the globe, we cannot wait to see old friends and welcome new ones.”
Division 6 councillor Duncan McInnes said the Winter Harvest Festival is the “ultimate celebration” of the region’s produce.
“(It will have) market stalls, tasting places, live music, celebrity chefs, cooking demonstrations, kids’ activities, the tractor pulling competition, and so much more,” he said.
“It’s a great day out for the whole family.”
Kalfresh CEO Richard Gorman said he was proud to have been involved with the event for nine years and he has watched how it has evolved.
The vegetable grower’s carrot day will be held on Saturday, June 26 and offers the chance for visitors to head home with a car full of carrots they’ve pulled from the ground.
“Our first Kalfresh Carrot Day was a small affair, and we weren’t sure how many people would come along,“ he said.
“What we quickly realised is there is a real appetite among Australian consumers to know more about where their food comes from.
“We are always surprised by the interest visitors of all ages have in the journey of the humble carrot.
“Seeing kids go home muddy and the family car boot loaded with carrots is pure joy for us.”
You can view the full 2021 Scenic Rim Eat Local Week program here.
Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.