Chinchilla booked out as Melon Fest approaches
IT'S Chinchilla's biggest weekend until 2021 and the population is swelling by the thousands as visitors arrive to experience Australia's sweetest event - Melon Fest.
'No vacancy' signs are lit up across town, the showground's 540 campsites are full and even accommodation in Miles is approaching full capacity.
Tipped to be one of the biggest Melon Fests the town has seen since the event began in 1993, organisers anticipate the weekend will provide a $3.5million economic boost to the community.
Festival committee president, Doug McNally, said based on previous years, he expects the festival's 14,000 visitors to inject millions of dollars into the economy in just a few days.
Meanwhile, Chinchilla Community Commerce and Industry manager Robyn Haig said it wasn't just about generating money for the economy.
"There's also a strong benefit to a lot of our not-for-profits, community groups and sporting clubs, so say the show society and the polocrosse club who provide camping at their grounds,” Ms Haig said.
"A lot of our other not- for-profits or community groups have stalls and provide services to all the visitors over the period of the Melon Fest as well, and they come out with a benefit.
"It's definitely also worth mentioning the community morale benefit.”
Chinchilla AMP Association president and office manager Lisa Walsh said the showgrounds was booked out a month ago, with Melon Festival the organisation's biggest fundraiser.
"Everything we fundraise goes back into the grounds to the upkeep and the running,” Ms Walsh said.
"It's a very good income for us for the two years.
"It is just massive. The mind boggles actually when you start thinking about the amount of people who come into town.”
It's a sentiment echoed by Kings Park manager, Warwick Morris, who said they started taking bookings as people were leaving the 2017 festival.
"We've got people who ring up now who say their friend came out to the last one, they raved about it so we're coming for this one, so it's obviously a brilliant event,” he said. "As soon as you get a cancellation there's someone to take it.”