PHOTOS: Ipswich Festival parade 'the biggest yet'
THE community has not seen an Ipswich Festival parade as big or as vibrant as they did on Saturday night.
Organisers are already calling the weekend's festivities the most successful to date, with more than 15,000 people lining the CBD streets to get a glimpse of the action.
Floats were adorned with characters and scenes from storybooks while Brisbane St and parts of the CBD were transformed into a magical escape from the norm.
Organiser Paul Casos said: "It was just absolutely fantastic, it was the biggest crowd we have ever seen in town," Mr Casos said.
"We have had nothing but positive feedback, everyone had a wonderful time. It was truly a fantastic night for Ipswich."
Mr Casos said he was particularly proud from a personal perspective, to have 19-year-old granddaughter Tayah co-announce the parade with him for the first time.
"It was a special moment for our family," he said.
Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said the parade was the ideal opportunity for CBD businesses to cash in on the extra foot traffic.
"You have got to commend those businesses who really embraced the festival, they obviously did really well out of it," Cr Antoniolli said. "There was a great family atmosphere with the storybook theme."
The Ipswich City Libraries float took out the overall prize, while Ipswich Juke Box Hire was awarded best musical entry.
Churchill State School had the best school or kindergarten entry and Ipswich Pro Driving School was the best for lights, colour and creativity.
Judge Shannon Newley said there was some stiff competition on display.
Ipswich City Libraries was a standout with it's Very Hungry Caterpillar-themed float.
"There were so many people involved and all of them were decked out with great costumes that fit with the theme, including flashing butterfly wings and pieces of fruit," Ms Newley said.
"The highlight was the incredible caterpillar lantern that weaved its way through the float as it travelled down Brisbane St.
"It wasn't hard to find Wally at all with Churchill State School's take on the fun children's book. All of the students dressed in red and white stripes who were absolutely gorgeous."
Plenty more festival fever planned for city
THE Ipswich Festival fun is not over yet.
Saturday night's Parade of Light was just the beginning of another week jam-packed with activities, display and seminars to keep the family busy.
The Ipswich Art Awards is a major regional art exhibition, attracting artists from throughout southeast Queensland.
Over 200 artwork entries will be on display during the exhibition period in the historic St Paul's Anglican Church Hall in Ipswich Central.
The exhibition is on daily until April 22 and entry is free.
As part of the Ride On, Celebration of Cycling Week, the community is encouraged to ride to work on April 18Wednesday.
The event will celebrate the benefits of riding to work and will be followed by a post-celebration breakfast of fresh fruit and coffee at d'Arcy Doyle Place at 6.30am.
Cabaret Five Foot Two with singer-songwriter Melissa Western is on at the Civic Centre on April 18Wednesday. Tickets are $25 and the show kicks off at 7.30pm.
Sounds of the 60s is on at the Civic Centre on April 19Thursday from 7.30pm. Tickets are $35.
On April 20Friday, the 2018 Annual Proms Concert takes to the stage at St Paul's Anglican Church.
In keeping with tradition, the evening features a mix of classical, sacred and secular music, and well-known choral items.
Tickets start at $25 and the show starts at 7.30pm.
Fiesta will take over Queen's Park on April 20Friday with street food, workshops, stage entertainment and giant games and activities between 5pm and 9pm.