Time to celebrate in Stanthorpe

Come and enjoy cooking demonstrations.

The Granite Belt is gearing up for Harvest time so that means it’s also time for 10 days of fun, food and wine at the Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival.

Stanthorpe and surrounds will be filled with colour, fun and frivolity from 23 February to 3 March as the region embraces the Biennial Festival.

Festival President Russell Wantling said it’s a chance for locals and visitors alike to delight in the 10 day festival filled with gastronimical experiences, toe tapping entertainment and wholesome country hospitality.

The festival has been running since 1966 and boasts crowds of over 60,000 for the Granite Belt Region.

Russell said it’s a week filled with family fun, from street parades to foodies markets, buskers and live entertainment.

“This iconic event is made possible thanks the tireless efforts of our committee, volunteers, sponsors and our community,” he said.

“We want to welcome visitors to our region so that they can enjoy what we get to experience daily”

“In light of recent weather events that have impacted local farmers, the festival is taking a proactive approach to support the community. Collaborating with local agricultural organisations, it aims to raise awareness and education ensuring the region’s agricultural heritage remains strong.

“Join us February 23rd to March 3rd, 2024, in celebrating the resilience of our farmers and the rich harvest that defines our region at the Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival.”

The ten days culminate in a fun-filled main weekend from 1-3 March.

Russell said the final week is a time to get messy, quite literally with the Balancing Heart Grape Crush.

“Jump in barrel and stomp and squelsh the latest season grapes in a truly iconic experience,” he laughed.

But it’s not all grape stained feet and clothes. The organisers warn to “have packed your very best frock for the Apple & Grape Gala Ball on Friday night”.

This is an opportunity to induldge in a meal prepared by the award winning Varias Restaurant, local wines and of course entertainment aimed to have festival goers on their feet and dancing the night away.

The weekend also includes the Queensland Country Bank three-day Food and Wine Fiesta which plays host to more than 17 local wineries, breweries, distilleries and food vendors.

“It’s the perfect way to enjoy the Granite Belt all in the one location,” Russell explained.

“The added bonus is the Fiesta is free for children so they can enjoy the Woolwoorths Kidszone. Another traditional feature is the Grand Parade on the Saturday and Rebel Fm Street Carnival.”

He said in between the markets, the food and all the entertainment if visitors fancy a run there is the Farmgate Family Law Mt Marlay Challenge.

“It’s just a quick five or 10 km run which is 919m above sea level with an average eight per cent gradient.”

There is plenty to do mid-week during the festival – Monday to Thursday there are daily cooking demonstrations from local Chefs who bring to life Paddock to Plate with their passion for cooking with the Granite Belt’s legendary produce.

There is also a chance to meet the local farmers and hear the stories behind the delicious food being cooked and a chance to hear from the people who know exactly which wine to pair the seasonal produce with.

Bus Tours are run daily to see first-hand the farms where the food is coming with truffles, apple, tomato and berry farms open to visitors.

Thurday night is time for the all new Brushes and Bubbles – the perfect opportunity to have the uber-talented Lindsay Muir guide through a still life art class.

“Add in a round of Golf, Open Gardens, exploring the Granite Belt and your week is filled,” Russell concluded.