MAGICAL MOMENT: Bookings are a must for the recently opened Story Bank in Maryborough as Beelbi Creek resident Helen Wegner and family visitor from South Australia June Hills (left) found out when they arrived on opening day.
MAGICAL MOMENT: Bookings are a must for the recently opened Story Bank in Maryborough as Beelbi Creek resident Helen Wegner and family visitor from South Australia June Hills (left) found out when they arrived on opening day. Boni Holmes

STORY BANK: Doors open ahead of Mary Poppins Festival

AFTER months of anticipation, members of the public can now experience Maryborough's newest tribute to Mary Poppins.

Poppins author PL Travers' birthplace, the Australian Joint Stock Bank building on Kent St, has been transformed into the Story Bank.

The new attraction, featuring displays covering Travers' life and work, opened to the public yesterday - right in time for this year's Mary Poppins Festival.

As she prepares for the festival's launch on Saturday, Robyn Peach, event manager for Fraser Coast Tourism and Events, said the timing for the historic building's re-opening was perfect.

Ms Peach said the festival, which this year coincides with 100 years since Travers' birth, would be bigger and better than ever.

"Our goal was to increase the elements in the program and we've certainly done that," she said.

The eight-day festival will kick off on Saturday in Queens Park with Steamfesta and Timeless Mary's Tea and Tiffin Party.

Getting under way from 1pm, it will include an attempt at the Guinness World Record for the largest number of Steampunk enthusiasts in one place, the firing of the time cannon, a historic engine display, bagpipes and other entertainment.

That will be followed by the Mary Poppins Street Party from 5pm at the Portside Precinct.

Then on Sunday, children can discover the fun of decorating and flying a kite at Let's Go Fly a Kite.

The event will be held between 10am and 2pm in Queens Park.

The festival will be filled with fun, including the Cat in the Hat on stage at the Brolga Theatre, live musical performances, screenings of the Mary Poppins movies and readings by popular authors.

It will culminate on July 6 with A Day in the Park, a day-long event that will include an appearance by Humphrey B Bear, the traditional Great Nanny Race, the Grand Parade down Richmond St and much more.

Bookings to see the Story Bank can be made by calling 4123 7221.



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