Thousands say cheers to the World’s Greatest Pub Fest

IN 2004, a plan was hatched to celebrate Maryborough's 100th anniversary of being a city the next year by combining the annual Best of Brass competition with a 'Back to the Banyan Tree' celebration.

Then-Chronicle staff, editor Nancy Bates and journalist Jocelyn Watts, came up with an idea to give the flagging pub scene something to celebrate too - a giant pub crawl.

The council including then-Mayor Alan Brown were quick to get on board, and so the World's Greatest Pub Fest was born.

The first event was held in 2005, with 1198 people calling bottom's up at 16 Maryborough pubs.

The event was so popular that even though it was originally planned as part of the one-off festival, it had to be run again.

Crowds grew every year, but other cities soon took up the challenge.

Maryborough's PubFest made international history in 2008 when more than 3000 entrants handed in their official entrance cards, raising thousands of dollars for charity.

Mindy Wilmot and Melissa Bobeldyk at the Sunrise Rotary Hotel in 2010.
Mindy Wilmot and Melissa Bobeldyk at the Sunrise Rotary Hotel in 2010.

In March 2009, New York drinkers managed to outnumber their Australian counterparts but Maryborough smashed the record books just months later in June 2009, with a massive 4718 people officially taking part - a number that still remains unbeaten.

Proof of its popularity was shown in 2011 when hundreds of letters that poured into the Chronicle after the council announced the event would be cancelled due to lack of interest from participating pubs.

Several more hotels agreed to take part but the council decided the giant crawl was not sustainable and 2011's event was billed the "Last Shout".

About 10,000 revellers turned up, and in the face of overwhelming public support for the event, the council decided to instead expand it to include a wider demographic, by adding a food and fine wine festival, now known as Relish, on the Saturday.

The joint PubFest and Relish weekend now forms a major highlight of the Fraser Coast's calendar, drawing thousands of visitors from far and wide.



Shining the light on Fraser Coast's domestic violence

premium_icon Shining the light on Fraser Coast's domestic violence

New research on domestic and family violence hits Fraser Coast

Victims to victors: tough lesson gives way to help others

premium_icon Victims to victors: tough lesson gives way to help others

Howard couple welcome commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety

Woolooga Fire Disaster Day 3: Strong winds imminent threat

Woolooga Fire Disaster Day 3: Strong winds imminent threat

Woolooga fire heading for Miva, Theebine, Scotchy Pocket and Gunalda

Local Partners