The Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival will be a whole lot sweeter this year after Burdekin Shire Council announced the festival will include a cultural food and activity fair in 2019.
Mayor Lyn McLaughlin made the announcement during the official launch on Friday night, saying the newly-announced Burdekin Cultural Fair would expand the festival into a three-event program.
“The Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival was a great success in 2018, with more than 2,000 people witnessing the power of the First Fire and a further 3,000 attending the Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships,” Cr McLaughlin said.
“This year will see the return of the First Fire on Thursday 30 May and the Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships on Saturday 1 June, and we are incredibly excited to announce that the event will now conclude with the Burdekin Cultural Fair to be held in Ayr on Sunday 2 June.
“The Burdekin Cultural Fair will celebrate our diverse culture here in the Burdekin through a range of cultural activities, food and entertainment, and will ensure the festival is celebrated throughout the Shire.
“Through this signature festival event, we envisage growing the visitor economy and offering a unique experience for both visitors and locals alike.”
During the launch event it was revealed that renewable energy company Pacific Hydro had committed to a three-year partnership with Council, coming on board as Presenting Sponsor of the Festival.
Pacific Hydro Engagement and External Affairs Manager Krista Kim said the partnership was extremely important to the company.
“Having the opportunity to once again partner with Burdekin Shire Council to deliver the Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival is very exciting for us,” she said.
“It is also the perfect opportunity build on the many relationships that we have worked hard to forge over the last two years since we first entered the Shire.
“Successes in our relationships with the communities where we operate are as important to our business as other factors, such as technical and financial success.”
Cr McLaughlin also announced Evolution Mining as the Presenting Sponsor of the First Fire event and Queensland Sugar Limited as the Presenting Sponsor of the Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships.
Created in 2018, the Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival is a celebration of the Burdekin agricultural region and the enviable lifestyle that comes with it, from fresh produce and culinary delights through to adventure and sports tourism experiences, country hospitality, great music and family-friendly entertainment.
The inaugural event combined the pre-existing First Fire and Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships events to create a revitalised family friendly festival.
Cr McLaughlin thanked the Queensland Government for supporting the Burdekin Cultural Fair under the Celebrating Multi Cultural Queensland Program.