Flower festival a first for Gold Coast

MONICA ADAIR

The streets of Main Beach will come alive this weekend as Gold Coast’s first ever flower festival hits Tedder Avenue.

Main Beach Spring Flower Festival

The Main Beach Spring Flower Festival will offer flowers, music, and an assortment of special functions and workshops. Photo: Main Beach Association

 

In addition to beautiful floral arrangements, the Main Beach Spring Flower Festival will boast a range exhibitions, events, workshops and specialist speakers, as well as bands, roving musicians and spring-themed menus.

The weekend promises to be a feast for the senses, as the smell of flowers wafts through the streets.

Rita Noon, a festival organiser from the Main Beach Association, said the upcoming flower festival promised to be spectacular.

“What we are in a position to do now is to start a lovely two-day event that people can look forward to, and everyone can enjoy,” Ms Noon said.

“We thought the one thing that people actually love is flowers,” she said.

“Everybody loves flowers.”

The festival will feature a collaboration between Gold Coast artist Llewellyn Skye and floral designer and festival curator Julia Rose, whose work combines art, fashion and performance.

The collaboration is a large floral painted piece by Ms Skye that is intertwined with botanical art by Julia Rose.

Ms Skye will also begin painting a huge canvas over the weekend, taking inspiration from one of Julia Rose’s wearable floral art pieces.

The artist will begin working on the painting on Saturday morning, and the finished piece will be displayed at the Star Rooftop Entertainment Hub at the end of the festival.

In addition to all things floral, the Main Beach Spring Flower Festival will also boast an entertainment hub for one block on Tedder Avenue, which will feature performances from local musicians, Indigenous bands and other musical groups.

The entertainment hub will also feature free talks by guest speakers including Gardening Australia’s Jerry Coleby-Williams, edible flower expert Linda Brennan, and botanist and environmental scientist Catherine Pickering.

Ms Pickering will be discussing tips and tricks on starting your own balcony garden.

“There are so many people that live in an apartment,” Ms Noon said.

“This talk will allow you to have someone to help you design your balcony garden; tell you what’s good and what’s bad,” she said.

Earth Fibre’s Michelle O'Hara Auer

Earth Fibre’s Michelle O’Hara Auer has more than 30 years’ experience in printmaking. Photo: Michelle O’Hara Auer

 

The Main Beach Spring Flower Festival also offers a number of ticketed functions and workshops that can be booked into prior to the festival.

Ticketed functions include a Signature High Tea held at the Compass Room of the Southport Yacht Club, an Ink Gin Soirée at Hot Shott Café, and a fundraising raffle, with a major prize of a $22,000 European river cruise, provided by Main Beach Travel.

Raffle tickets cost $50 each and can be purchased online, with half the proceeds going to FARA Australia, a charity that conducts research into Friedreich Ataxia, a debilitating, life shortening condition that affects one in 30,000 Australians and New Zealanders.

There are also a number of workshops being offered at the Main Beach Spring Flower Festival, including succulent wall art, succulent bowl making and floral design workshops.

World champion floral designer Bart Hassam will be running the floral design workshops.

Attendees at the workshop will learn how to create a bridal spring bouquet using fresh floral materials.

The festival will also feature several fashion and lifestyle exhibitions to inspire eco-friendliness.

Exhibitor Michelle O’Hara Auer from Earth Fibre is committed to reducing the negative environmental and social impacts of the textile and fashion industries.

Ms O’Hara Auer said visitors to Earth Fibre’s exhibition could expect to see a beautiful range of scarves and wraps that had been eco-dyed with windfall leaves, and a range of indigo plant dyed scarves that reflected the colours of the ocean.

“I forage leaves from around my local area of the Glass House Mountains on the Sunshine Coast,” Ms O’Hara Auer said.

“I work using only natural elements found on the land, without the use of harsh chemicals or plastics,” she said.

“Whether that is walking along the forest path and gathering leaves and seed pods or dipping my fabrics into the sea prior to the dyeing process.”

“Earth Fibre is all about coming back to nature.”

Plastic Free Alternatives

Plastic Free Alternatives makes it easy to be eco-friendly with Bee-Tastic Beeswax Produce Storage Bags. Photo: Plastic Free Alternatives

 

Another eco-friendly exhibitor at the festival is Plastic Free Alternatives.

As a mother of three and a grandmother of seven, Plastic Free Alternatives curator Nikki Beckinsale said she was passionate about leaving the planet healthy for future generations.

Ms Beckinsale stressed the importance of where stock was made, and said at Plastic Free Solutions, their first option was to buy locally or to buy items made in Australia.

“We want to be sure that in the manufacturing process no harm is done to the environment and workers are being paid a fair wage,” Ms Beckinsale said.

“There are loads of cheap plastic free alternatives available, but so often it comes at the price to the planet and to humans,” she said.

“We believe that if every person takes small positive steps together we can have a big impact on healing the current pollution problems and preventing further problems.”

Ms Noon said with so much on offer, the Main Beach Spring Flower Festival was not one to miss.

“The festival will attract people who like things that are beautiful, who want to be involved with fresh flowers, creative people, and have somewhere to come on the Gold Coast,” she said.

“We have lots of music festivals, we have art festivals, but we don’t have flower festivals… yet.”

The Main Beach Spring Flower Festival runs from September 7 to 8.

For more information visit the festival website.

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