This is such a sad time for the Chevallum community and the whole of the Sunshine Coast - the Twist Brothers', who have generously opened their hearts and their strawberry fields to the Chevallum community for the past thirty years, are in the process of closing their operations down.
The shining light to this very unhappy news, is that the annual must-do Chevallum StrawbFest is still happening and for this year is still supported by the Twist Brothers. For more than three decades, the Twist Brothers have allowed the children from Chevallum State School to pick tonnes and tonnes of strawberries. This humungous 'pile' of strawberries are then transformed into a decadently, divine strawberry feast, which includes jam, syrup, salads, strawberry and marshmallow kebabs, strawberry sundaes, strawberry-topped pavlovas and even strawberry Daiquiris.
This fabulously unique community event provides Chevallum State School with additional resources for their little Hinterland school.
StrawbFest 2018 is not just about strawberries, but is also about a heap load of family entertainment and fun! From jugglers and comedians to rides and fireworks, there is absolutely something for the whole family at StrawbFest 2018.
Look out for these fabulous musicians on the Main Stage
Every year StrawbFest provides hay bales for visitors to sit on and watch the Main Stage, but for some reason there are never enough hay bales to cater for everyone. So, bring along your own picnic blanket and some chairs, so you can sit back, relax and enjoy some great music way into the night. This year the bands will continue playing after the Fireworks display too.
Fat Picnic - according to their biography is a soul-ska explosion that preaches punchy horn lines and bangin' reggae beats, resulting in an energetic and infectious live show. Fat Picnic's music ranges across dub, funk, soul and ska and in their own words 'there ain't no party like a Fat Picnic party!'
Ruby Gilbert - has a powerful performance style which has seen her play festivals all around Australia, including the Caloundra Music Festival, Tamworth Country Music Festival, the Gympie Music Muster as well as having been featured at Big Sound and LittleBigSound. Ruby lives on the sleepy outskirts of Brisbane and is bringing her timeless and old-soul inspired lyrics to the Chevallum StrawbFest.
Dan Horne - is an English born, foot stompin' Australian blues & roots musician. Dan is bringing his "one-man- band" style of a mesmerising blend of foot drums, harmonica and multiple guitars, to the 2018 StrawbFest. You've gotta be there to see him!
StrawbFest is all about having fun...and strawbs, of course
Dear Willow - is a Sunshine Coast based indie-pop meets alt-rock project, spearheaded by Em-J Dau and backed by Callan Holstein, Melinda Huurdman and Sam Graham. Since 2012 Dear Willow has transformed from poet to a solo acoustic act and embraced her sound through a full band. A not-to-be missed act on the Main Stage at Chevallum StrawbFest.
Besides munching away on strawberries and enjoying the live entertainment on the Main Stage, Strawbfest have plenty of other 'things' to get excited about, like Side Show Alley and Stalls.
Side Show Alley
At Side Show Alley there are heaps of games with plenty of great prizes too.
Everything from home-made goodies to flowers, will be available to purchase
Pre-Loved Stall The families of Chevallum have been putting aside their best pre-loved items throughout the whole year to make sure visitors get the best quality for the best price, much better than the usual op-shops.
Plants Stall Every year the parents and students work together to grow plants from seedlings and cuttings, especially for the Plants Stall. Several local nurseries also donate plants for Strawbfest.
Flower Stall Flowers, flowers everywhere … take home some stunning blooms to brighten your home.
A StrawbFest wouldn't be a StrawbFest without a Strawberry Stall. Freshly picked and packed from the Twists Farm, make sure you take some home for those special strawberry treats.
Who doesn't love home-made strawberry jam?
The parents and tuck shop staff at Chevallum are very industrious and make delicious jam and strawberry syrup. Be pro-active and buy some early Christmas gifts.
Buy yourself a bottle at the Bottle Stall, jam-packed with toys and treats.
Glow in the Dark Body Paint Stall
Faces, arms and legs are on the radar to be painted at the Body Paint Stall.
Enjoy some downtime with Strawberry Pavlova and a Barista-made cup of coffee at The Lounge, whilst catching your breath and listening to some gentle music. I can imagine that out on the grounds the noise factor could be at an all-time high.
Enjoy some downtime with Barista-made coffee and cake in The Lounge
All food at StrawbFest is pre-paid, using food tickets, which can be purchased on the night. Please remember to bring along some cash. Most people buy about $30 worth of food tickets, which can be used for food; to purchase items at the stalls; as well as the 'Under 8's side show alley; bottles; glow in the dark swords; face painting; books and second-hand clothes.
Unfortunately there are no refunds on left-over food tickets at the end of the evening, so please ensure that you 'spend' them all. Grab some Strawberry Jam or some of Linda's take home cakes or, I'm being naughty here…..a Strawberry Daiquiri for the road!
One for the road
There are so many amazing food stalls at the 2018 StrawbFest, with everything from nachos to curry to BBQ to hamburgers to sushi and even mini hot dogs, perfect for little hands and little tummies. Click here to see all the temptations on offer at StrawbFest and I'm betting, visitors to StrawbFest will be using up ALL of their food tickets on this yummy food. There's no excuse to go hungry!
Oh my soul! The strawberry delights are enough temptation to make a guilty man turn honest! I definitely wouldn't know where to start, but I would suggest dieting for the next two weeks to ensure that a feast of decadent strawberry delights for a whole evening, can be on the cards.
StrawbFest has a fully licensed bar, wo-manned by the Deputy Principal, Judy Fisher, who prepares divine Strawberry Dacquiris. Get in early before the strawbs run out, but at least there will still be beer, wine and spirits on the menu.
Oh my gosh, people - you gotta be in it, to win it! The Mega Raffle is a huge part of StrawbFest and this year is no exception, with $10,000 worth of prizes having been donated by generous sponsors. Tickets are only $2.50 and with multiple chances to win, the Mega Raffle is a sure-fire way to win something BIG. Here is the list of prizes to be won and they are pretty awesome.
Raffle prizes worth more than $10,000 - you gotta be in it, to win it!
I've saved the best for last ... the carnival rides!
At StrawbFest they have rides for big kids, little kids and 'don't you dare call me a kid' kids.
Eighty feet of pure awesomeness in three separate lanes, the Super Slide is the most sought-after ride for children to grandparents - there is always a queue. The Super Slide is built with fibreglass and stays cool all day long. Two operators work the Super Slide, one at the bottom of the stairs and one at the top to ensure everyone's safety.
An eighty foot three lane super slide!
The Mega Swings is a thirty seater swing ride which caters for the whole family from the age of three.
Mad Hatters Cup and Saucer Ride
The brightly coloured Cup and Saucer Ride has six spinning cups, which can seat up to 24 people - adults and children at one time! The Mad Hatters Cup and Saucer Ride is a firm favourite with toddlers, preschoolers, mums, dads and even the teenagers love to catch a spin. Once the sun sets, the Tea Pot lights up, making for a visually impressive carnival ride.
The whole family can have fun on the Mad Hatters cup and saucer ride
Party Jumping Castle
A beautiful big jumping castle that has been structurally built to cater for big people too - you know the ones, the ones who want to stay forever young and do still have the energy to keep on jumping. Yep, mum and dad and grandparents too - the Party Castle is for everyone to go jumping crazy!
Look out for the Dodgems, the Scrambler and the Round-up at the carnival rides too. At the time of writing, no information was available on these additional rides, but you can bet your bottom dollar, they will be totally awesome!
I'm including a location map showing that the location for the 2018 StrawbFest is only five minutes from Buderim, forty minutes from Noosa and an hour from Brisbane, which means our Friday evening on the 7 September from 5.00pm until late is totally sorted, with fun, entertainment, food, carnival rides, live music and of course, our favourites, strawberries.
Please support the little Hinterland town of Chevallum and also the Twist Brothers Farm, without whom the StrawbFest would absolutely not be possible. A fantastic, fun-filled night of entertainment and strawberries, for the whole family!
PS there's plenty of free parking too, with the local farmers allocating some of their land to parking - as mentioned before, this is a community worthy of your support.