51st Laidley Spring Festival hailed as "best ever"
LAIDLEY'S Spring Festival, the town's 51st, has been judged as the best ever staged.
Held over three days last week, the festival culminated in a gala street parade on Saturday afternoon.
Despite the community being hit hard in January's Australia Day flood, ongoing enthusiasm for the popular event was demonstrated by local residents and visitors who took advantage of the glorious weather to make the most of the three-day affair.
Saturday's street parade was led by Redland City-based town crier Max Bissett, who had been invited to take over when the regular hailer became ill.
"It's a bit unfortunate that the man from Toowoomba couldn't make it, but I feel privileged to have been asked and to have taken part in this wonderful event," Mr Bissett said.
Among an outstanding array of floats in the parade, the one entered by Branell Homestead B&B was judged to be the best in the local business category.
The judges, Lockyer Valley Regional councillors Tanya Milligan, Janice Holstein and Alan Brimblecombe also agreed the parade was the best they had seen.
Other winners in their respective categories were: Children's - Free Range Kids; Sports groups - Laidley Dragon Boat Club; Community - Laidley Arts Society; School - St Mary's Primary School; Band - Lockyer Valley Celtic Pipe Band; Historical and Antique Vehicles - Lockyer Antique Motor Association; and Culture - Lockyer Valley Circus Arts.
A free shuttle bus service conveyed visitors between the venues to events which included the Gardens and Flowers Show, the Lockyer Valley Orchid Society's Spring Orchid Show, a Quilt and Craft Expo, and Make it, Bake it, Grow it Markets. Mayor Steve Jones described the festival as a "bumper" regional event. "Once again, it is a wonderful tribute to the hard working community groups who put this event together each year," he said.