The 55th Southern Highlands Tulip Time Festival has been hailed a success, with a record-breaking number of visitors enjoying the bright blooms.
More than 38,000 people flocked through the gates of Corbett Gardens during the 13 day festival which ended on Sunday, smashing the previous record of 35,300 which was set in 2014.
Council’s Event Coordinator Destination Southern Highlands Debbie Pearce said she was overjoyed with the record-breaking result.
“The wide array of events on offer this year provided plenty of entertainment and attracted visitors from near and far, showcasing the best of what the Southern Highlands has to offer,” she said.
Events held throughout the floral festival included ‘Music in the Gardens’, the annual Street Parade, ‘Dogs Day Out’ and new event ‘Cinema at Sunset’.
“Expanding the range of events and activities across the festival ensured that we really did feature something for everyone,” Ms Pearce said. “Musical events across both weekends featuring local artists were crowd favorites and the introduction of ‘Greeters’ greatly enhanced the visitor experience.”
“And families just loved the giant outdoor evening cinema featuring Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax!”
This year saw a huge increase in visitors utilising public transport – in particular train services – with City Rail providing additional coach services to accommodate the crowds.
Last Sunday’s ‘Dogs Day Out’ proved the most popular day of the festival with 6,300 visitors and hundreds of dogs enjoying Corbett Gardens and meeting Foxtel’s Village Vets Australia stars – James and Anthony.
The Tulip Time Street Parade also lived up to its reputation as a traditional favourite with 42 entrants making their way up Bong Bong Street in front of big crowds. The Bowral Garden Club was rewarded for their hard work, winning ‘Best Float’ with their hot pink oriental themed entry and the Southern Highlands Kennel and Obedience Club winning ‘Best Walking Group’.
Chair of the Tulip Time Working Group, Councillor Garry Turland said the success of the festival was a testament to the hard work put in by Council staff and volunteers.
“I’d like to pay special mention to the Destination Southern Highlands team, led by Steve Rosa and Tulip Time Event Coordinator Debbie Pearce, Council’s Parks and Gardens team, and all of the members of the Tulip Time Working Group who helped organise this family-friendly event,” he said.
“Special thanks also go to our charity partner The Garvan Research Foundation, the Love Your Sister team and all of our local community groups, businesses and sponsors for their support,” Councillor Turland added.
“Of course the event would not have been the success it was without the wonderful support from our local residents and the visitors who came from far and wide to support this year’s festival.”
While the festival officially wrapped up on Sunday 27 September, the tulips will remain on show in Corbett Gardens for another week, after which time the bulbs will be removed and donated to the Welby Garden Centre to assist with fundraising