By HARRY CLARKE
THE tiny Western Downs town of Jandowae tripled in population on the main day of its biennial community celebration as thousands of locals, former locals and visitors from afar gathered for the Jandowae Timbertown Festival.
The festival celebrates Jandowae’s rich history as a timber cutting and exporting hub, bringing the community and tourists together for a grand parade, family activities, markets and an array of wood chopping and chainsawing displays.
It had been four years since the last festival as the pandemic caused the 2020 event to be cancelled.
It was a ticketed event for the first time, and spokeswoman Karel Brownhall said the 20-strong volunteer organising committee was thrilled with the support from a huge crowd.
“We had a wonderful festival and were very pleased with the attendance of around 3200,” Karel said.
“For a town with a population of just over 1000 people, it sure is exciting to see the town swell for the four days of the festival.”
The festival theme was “The many branches that make us one” and was aimed to showcase Jandowae as a great place to live, as well as its timber cutting heritage.
“There was plenty of wood chip flying fun for everyone to enjoy on the main festival day (Saturday),” Karel said.
“The cold winds did not deter people and the general feel was that everyone was enjoying themselves with non-stop entertainment flowing all day.”
Festival favourites included the BTS Chinchilla wood chopping, the chainsaw racing, The Matty G Chainsaw Artist who created a sculpture of Ned Kelly, the free giant inflatable challenge, the David Babore Caricature Artist, fireworks, yabbie races and Route 33 performing live until midnight.
The grand parade was opened by Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh followed by a helicopter aerial lolly drop by Little Heli Services for the kids to fill their pockets and caps with lollies.
The Jandowae Timbertown Festival forms one of five major festivals in the Western Downs council area, providing an economic boost for the region and promoting country tourism.
The next major tourism event will be the Chinchilla Melon Festival in 2023.