Mary Poppins is the world’s famous magical nanny from London, brought to the big screen by an American studio. But here’s a supercalifragilistic fact you probably didn’t know: the person that started it all, the character’s creator is from Queensland! This is a well-known fact among Queenslanders, and Maryborough, where author Pamela Lyndon Travers was born, is peppered with various spots and landmarks that commemorate both the character and the author. For example, a Mary Poppins statue stands on Richmond Street, the city’s own Cherry Tree Lane. On the same street, the actual building where Travers was born—formerly Australian Joint Stock Bank Building—is now a museum called The Story Bank. But perhaps the city’s highlight is the yearly Mary Poppins Festival! If you’re a Mary Poppins fan, this is an event in Australia you shouldn’t miss!
How It Began
We have “The Proud Marys” to thank for the Mary Poppins Festival (and the statue and the museum as well). Comprised of women with the name Mary or a derivative, The Proud Marys has worked to put Maryborough on the map. The festival sprung from a small event—a yearly “Mary Morning Tea” that turned into the huge festival that it is now.
The first Mary Poppins Festival was held in 2007. The dates and duration vary. It’s typically held mid-year, between June and July, and it can run for a few days to as long as two weeks. This 2021, despite the present challenges, Mary Poppins Festival will be held for four days.
What to Expect
This year, there are four days full of magic, fun, and positivity brought by the Mary Poppins Festival! Maryborough will come alive with music concerts, pop-up performances, art installations, and workshops. The fest is suitable for all ages, so everyone in the family can share the fun. Admission is free of charge, except for certain exhibitions and storytelling programs.
Each day is filled with all forms of entertainment and activities, but the main event to watch out for is the “Day in the Park” (Day 4) where you can live out your Mary Poppins fantasies. Dress up as a nanny or any of your favorite characters and join the games or just cheer with the crowd. Push your pram the fastest in the Nanny Race or test your chimney-cleaning skills in the Chimney Sweep Challenge. Or, just flaunt your way to the top of the Dress Up Competition! (It is important to note that magic is forbidden in these competitions!) And be sure to join the Grand Parade by just registering for free here!
Aside from the highlighted competitions, the storytelling programs are also not to be missed. Storytelling comes in various forms such as music, performance, art, and of course, words. These activities are especially ideal for families and kids.
You can view the full line-up of activities on the festival’s official website here.
Mary Poppins Festival 2021
Check the full program details on the festival’s official website and plan your activities in advance! You can join competitions such as Nanny Race on the spot, except for the Grand Parade where you have to sign up in advance. Also, follow the official event page on Facebook so you don’t miss out on the latest updates!
Check out more fun things to do in Australia on KKday!
*Featured image via Fraser Coast Events