MELON MANIA: plan your ultimate festival experience
WITH Chinchilla's biggest event of the year just around the corner, now is the perfect time to be planning the ultimate Melon Festival experience.
Even though the festival will be held over four days from February 14-17, there's a tonne of fun to be had in the lead up to the big weekend.
The best part? Melon Festival has something for everyone, be it food, the arts or sport.
So get cracking and get these dates down in your diary and join the Chinchilla community as the town celebrates their pride and joy for the fourteenth biennial Melon Festival.
Looking for a bit of culture?
- Put your melon to good use at the Chinchilla State High School P&C trivia night at the Chinchilla Cultural Centre on Saturday, February 9 from 6pm. Cost is $20 per person with an impressive first prize of $500 up for grabs.
- The Lupunyah Art Gallery will be hosting a free cheese and wine evening on Monday, February 11 from 6pm, to announce the winners of Melon Festival Art Competition.
- Kick the festival off in style at the Uniting Church's three course sit-down luncheon on Thursday, February 14 from 11am at the Cultural Centre. Entertainer, radio host and media personality, Ruby Slipperz will be guest speaking. Tickets are $60 and can be purchased online here.
- Complete the perfect Valentine's evening with a premier screening of the heart-warming true story, Green Book, staring Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali. The film follows the unlikely friendship of Tony Lip (Mortensen), a bouncer from the Bronx and Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class Black pianist as they navigate the road together on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South in 1962. Tickets are $25 and include nibbles and wine served before the movie. Doors open at 6pm, the film commences at 7pm. Purchase your tickets here.
- Fuller Place will come alive for an afternoon of live music on Saturday, February 16 from 12-3pm.
- The poet's breakfast is the perfect way to kick the weekend off bright and early at 7am on Saturday, February 16 at Fuller Place. Australia's top performing bush poets, Gary Fogarty, Melanie Hall and Susie Carcary will be entertaining the audience while Queensland Cancer Council cooks up a hearty bacon and egg breakfast for $12. The breakfast will also be held at the Chinchilla museum from 7.30am on Sunday. Bring along your own chair to take a seat and listen in, or voice your own original poem to the crowd.
All sorts of melon sports
- Chinchilla Bowls Club will he holding a mixed social bowls day on Wednesday, February 13 from 12.30pm. Everyone is welcome to come down and have a crack.
- The Queensland Bulls Masters will play the Chinchilla and District Watermelons at the Melon Big Bash T20 on Thursday, February 14. Entry is $5, under 16's are free. Recreation Ground gates will open at 4:30pm with the match starting at 6pm. The bar will be running from 5:30pm with music on until 11pm.
- The Chinchilla Golf club are holding a three ball ambrose tournament on Friday, February 15 at 1pm for a 1.30pm start. Cost is $60 per team. This popular golf format allows all standards of golfers to mix and play together with equal enjoyment, irrespective of ability. Everyone is welcome.
- The Melon Dash for Cash is back this year with the stakes higher than ever as reigning champion, Hugh Tait, is looking to keep his title for another year. The dash will take place down Heeney Street from 12 noon on Saturday, February 16. Registration will be taken under the Shell QGC tent on the school oval from 11am.
- Slap on some melon skis and take your skills to the slopes of Chinchilla. The famous melon skiing will be running again on the state school oval arena from 12.30-4pm on Saturday, February 16.
- Melon bungy, pip spitting and the slip, dip and pull competitions will all be held on the oval from 12.30pm with the melon pip spitting final on at 3.30pm sharp.
- Melon chariot races and the mighty melon iron man and woman contests will run from 4pm onwards. Teams need to register from 11am under Shell's QCG tent on the oval from 11am.
For the foodies
- The Friday Festival Feast be held on February 15. The open air dining event boasts three courses of delicious food with a melon focused range of grazing table of hors-d'oeuvre and dips to start the evening off. The feast will be held on the Chinchilla Primary School oval from 6pm with music from local woman, Jane Zerbst. Tickets are $45 for adults, children under ten are $20, under three are free. You can purchase tickets online here.
- Celebrity Chef, Matt Golinski will be holding four cooking demonstrations in the Cultural Centre Wattle Room on Saturday, February 16, at 9.30, 11.30, 1.30 and 2.30.
- Of course, it wouldn't be a true melon festival without a free melon feast. Head to the big tree on the state school oval at 3pm on Saturday for a refreshing piece of melon to beat the heat.
And all the rest
This list is just the tip of the iceberg of Melon Festival events and activities.
Don't forget the big melon weigh in on Friday at 3pm and the free family concert on Saturday night, both happening on the primary school oval.
Of course, Chinchilla couldn't have a melon Fest without a good old fashioned street parade getting the ball rolling at the top of Heeney Street at 10.30am on Saturday.
This year's theme is "All Things Silver” to commemorate 25 years of the Melon Festival.
However you choose to spend it, have a happy festival weekend and remember to stay hydrated and sun protected.
Long live the Chinchilla Melon Festival!