EXCITING TIMES: Kirra Simpson gets ready for Sunday at the Carriers Arms sports bar.
EXCITING TIMES: Kirra Simpson gets ready for Sunday at the Carriers Arms sports bar. Carlie Walker

Baton relay buzz hits the Fraser Coast ahead of weekend

JUST two more sleeps and the Queen's Baton Relay will finally reach the Fraser Coast.   The Queen's Baton, making its way across the country ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, will begin its journey through the region on Fraser Island, before visiting Hervey Bay and Maryborough.   Fraser Coast councillor Darren Everard said he hoped there would be people lining the streets to cheer on our baton carriers across all three locations.   "There will be a mix of people carrying the baton; there will be some community champions in there," he said.   In Maryborough the excitement is building.   Janeen Turton, duty manager for the Carriers Arms Hotel, said it was a proud moment for the Heritage City.   She's hoping those heading out to watch the relay will come back for a beverage at the hotel to celebrate the occasion.   Then next month, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will get underway and Ms Turton said she's sure the sports bar will be kept busy while people enjoy the range of sporting events that will be televised.   Cr Everard, who has the events and recreation portfolio, said there would be plenty of people visiting the region in order to cheer on their loved ones who were taking part in the relay.   "I'm really hoping we get good numbers to come out and see it," he said.   Brad Nardi, marketing and communications manager with Fraser Coast Tourism and Events, said the games were great news for Queensland and were sure to attract visitors from Britain to our shores.   He said it was unclear how many would extend their stay past the Commonwealth Games and see more of Australia, but he said anecdotally he had heard tourism operators say they had been receiving bookings within that time frame.   Olympian triathlete Courtney Atkinson will be on Fraser Island on Sunday for the relay, Mr Nardi said.    Check out the eight-page guide to the Queen's Baton Relay in tomorrow's Fraser Coast Chronicle.   Councillor Stuart Taylor, who has the tourism and governance portfolio, said the relay would provide good exposure for the region.   "I think the imagery and the visual pictures and stories generated by the baton going through different places will provide recognition for communities such as Hervey Bay and Maryborough."  


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