POPPINS FEST: M'boro's Story Bank set to be tourism drawcard
WHILE numbers may have been down at the weekend, Maryborough's new Story Bank is the silver lining in a slightly slower Mary Poppins Festival.
Fraser Coast Tourism and Events General Manager Martin Simons said the recent transformation of the building where author PL Travers was born would attract tourists not only for the popular eight-day festival but also year-round.
The Story Bank has been a labour of love for the Fraser Coast Regional Council, with the historic building restored to its former glory and fitted out with interactive displays.
Mr Simons said the weather hadn't been kind for this year's event, but the Story Bank had proven to be a great hit, even if overall numbers were disappointing during Saturday's Day in the Park.
"We had plenty of positive comments about the Story Bank, a lot of people commented," he said.
"It's a year-round drawcard rather than just for the festival."
Even in a smaller than normal crowd, Mr Simons said it was great to see a high number of people attending the event from outside the region, including Melbourne, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast.
The winners of the Grand Parade were a family who dressed up in costume and travelled all the way from the Gold Coast to take part, he said.
He estimated about 3500 people had attended the festival over the course of the day.
"It's still a big drawcard and it's an event that resonates with families," he said.
Mr Simons said there would be plenty to promote ahead of next years event, with this year's program packed full of workshops, theatre, readings from popular authors and live performances.
He was also pleased with the late addition of Steamfesta, which claimed the world record for the most number of steampunkers in one place, the festival line-up.
The event exceeded expectations on it's June 29 debut.
"We have a festival with two sizeable events bookending a week of activities," Mr Simons said.