ALL A-BOARD: Steve Schilling and Anita Butler arrive in style for the 2018 Food and Wine Festival, with complimentary wine served by Grazynka Ziemkiewicz.
ALL A-BOARD: Steve Schilling and Anita Butler arrive in style for the 2018 Food and Wine Festival, with complimentary wine served by Grazynka Ziemkiewicz. Alan Lander

A 'stand-up' entry to festival

IT'S the new Noosa way, in stand-up style.

Why do the "Maserati/Merc shuffle”, trying to do the look-at-me with all the resulting parking hassles, to reach this year's Food and Wine Festival at Lions Park, Noosa Heads - when instead you can make a "stand-up” entry, casually paddling right up to the festival site to get your ticket and a complimentary glass of wine served - and get "valet parking” for your paddle thrown in.

Then again, you can also catch the free loop bus that will ferry you to and from Noosa Junction between 9.30am-8.30pm on festival days for an easy enjoyment of all that the festival offers.

Whatever way you arrive, you're in for a treat.

The Festival Village is back to Lions Park this year, returning that oh-so-special Noosa River effect with no marquees blocking the view, while you savour the 78 events in this year's program, most of which are happening in the park, but with others starting from Thursday in the hinterland, plus the tipis on the beach and Hastings St's Long Lunch.

Additionally there are associated events taking place from Noosaville to Peregian Beach.

Festival director Alesha Gooderham said the weather gods were on-side as the beach was being replenished following major erosion in the lead-up to the festival.

While chefs battle it out on the main stage in the park and every Noosa restaurant worth its salt presents their classy wares, some of the best quaffing drops in the nation stand by to help you wash things down, there's plenty more to see.

"This year, we have a few new activities happening,” Ms Gooderham said.

"We have the Craft and Cider Corner with some of the region's best craft brewers in action, while the new Courier Mail Producers Pavilion will feature some of the finest artisan producers, and there will be cooking demonstrations where you can also ask all the questions you've always wanted to ask.”

Dairy lovers will rejoice in the news that King Island Dairy is virtually replicating its business activities in a marquee on-site, with all the goodies it can offer.

The festival program lays out everything you need to know about having a great festival weekend.

Now in its 15th year, Ms Gooderham said the festival was not about increasing number annually, saying it's about quality not quantity and there was no benefit in overcrowding.

We get about 30 per cent of our visitors from interstate and overseas; they do not bring their cars, and tend to walk everywhere. That's a big benefit,” she said.

This year's event is also "the first stepping stone” in improving its environmental management.

"We are working with Plastic Free Noosa to minimise waste,” Ms Gooderham said.

"We are using glasses made of recyclable polycarbonate, and paper straws, while all operators will be using biodegradable containers.

"We will be waste measuring this year.”

The festival is open tomorrow and Sunday from 10am-8pm.

ALAN LANDER



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