FESTIVAL FEVER: Kenny the Mango joined Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox and young Bowen locals Jordyn Barnes and Emma Short to kick start Bowen's campaign for a Festival of Mangoes in the Festival of Wot competition.
FESTIVAL FEVER: Kenny the Mango joined Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox and young Bowen locals Jordyn Barnes and Emma Short to kick start Bowen's campaign for a Festival of Mangoes in the Festival of Wot competition. Jordan Gilliland

How Festival of Mangoes plan could still bear fruit

WHILE Bowen has lost out on the chance to host a Festival of Mangoes as part of Wotif's Festival of Wot, the idea of adding the festival to Bowen's event calendar is not dead in the water.

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said he was "devastated" to hear the news Bowen missed out on winning the Festival of Wot competition last week.

However, he hinted the idea might still get off the ground if he could attract the support of other councillors.

The Festival of Wot, a competition which involved people voting for one of four proposed festivals, named Mudgee's Festival of Snags as the winner.

The NSW Central West town beat Bowen's Festival of Mangoes, the Festival of Redheads in Maryborough and South Australia's Festival of Wheat, Wool and Wine in the Clare Valley.

Cr Willcox was quite tongue-in-cheek about Mudgee's win.

"Come the end of the year, I'm going to be sitting on a beautiful beach in Bowen, eating a delicious juicy mango, rather than cooking a sausage in 40-degree heat," he said.

However, as voting for the Festival of Mangoes attracted a great deal of attention and support, Cr Willcox has not ruled out council putting on the festival in the future.

"It became far bigger than Bowen. Everyone in the Whitsundays embraced it," he said.

"Everyone was keen.

"Unfortunately we didn't get the votes (to win)."

Cr Willcox plans to pitch the idea of council running the event at the next Budget meeting in June 2020.

He envisages many ideas put forward for the Wotif competition, such as how many mangoes people could eat, mango shot put, mango and spoon races and a mango daiquiri stand, to be possibilities at a council-run Festival of Mangoes.


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