1970 was only a few years ago….wasn’t it?

Well for many of us it seems that way. Wonderful years of new world movements, freedoms of youth, funky fashions and community spirit…..and the much loved Carnival of Flowers in Toowoomba’s Garden City.

Why pick on 1970?

Well, a fun find under the old flooring during a renovation by local builder, Thomas Higgins, has given me hours of intriguing reading about that era. I remember 1970 so well, but these articles have reminded me of the changes the city’s iconic event has seen over the years.

For better or for worse? You be the judge. Enjoy the meander down memory lane – wrinkled, ripped and flimsy as the papers were found.

How about that- having a front page in colour……..while Workplace Health and Safety Officers have a fit!

1970 was the height of pop culture, and a fresh-faced Johnny (in those days) Farnham was crowned King of Pop. A progressive Carnival of Flowers organising team jumped on this ‘royal’ theme, and the year’s Carnival Queen, Anne Harber, was lined up with Whispering Jack as the King and Queen royals of the Spring Carnival.

The 1970 program and the full coverage in the local Chronicle shows how the entertainment has transitioned in to a diverse offering across gardens, displays, food and wine festivals, music, crafts, business features and family activities across the years.

The highlight back in 1970 was The Great Mardi Gras at Picnic Point with its much-anticipated fireworks. Some of the events have given way to gender equality and more general pursuits, and today’s COF has strict safety guidelines to follow – The Night Garden powered by Ergon Energy is a fairyland of fireworks without the smell of cordite. The addition of Sideshow Alley to the lower end of Queen’s Park these days still sees the nightly fireworks!

Fashion was very prominent in 1970, and the fashions were fun.

Some things have shown their staying power – with good reason – we all love the gardens, the tours of the magnificent parks, the magnificent indoor floral displays, and enjoy the competitions and the wonder on the faces of the children…….

1970 really does feel as if it was only yesterday, and as the COF 2021 springs in to action today, we hope that the Carnival continues in all its floral glory.

A blog by MOLLY B