Grooving in the grove

Members of the “Sing Australia” Texas Choir were a hit at  “Grooving in the Grove.”
Members of the “Sing Australia” Texas Choir were a hit at “Grooving in the Grove.”

The Goondiwindi and Inglewood communities sure put on a show for visitors over the weekend.

While Gourmet in Gundy kept Goondiwindi residents and friends entertained and well fed, Inglewood residents were doing exactly the ame at the annual Grooving in the Grove.

More than 300 visitors from as far afield as the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Stanthorpe, Goondiwindi, Warwick, Texas, Yelarbon and Northern NSW flocked to the  third “Grooving in the Grove” Food and Music Festival.

It is held at at Coolmunda Olive Grove on “Nunyara” 16 kms east of Inglewood.

Attracted by what is now known as a well organised  function, the visitors enjoyed a smorgasbord of unusual events, top line music and some of the best food ever tasted in the area. 

A quick survey made during the day found customers  full of praise for the overall  variety and classy presentation of what was on offer.

First time players were able to test their skills at throwing wooden or epoxy balls at a small target ball on the newly-laid synthetic grass Bocce court, there were giant-sized pieces for anyone wanting to play a game of chess while others were challenged by the elaborate, bamboo maze.  

The lively, toe-tapping music played by the Toowoomba based Windy City Jazzmen set the tempo for enjoyment and many  were content to sit in comfort, listening to the music and enjoying the interesting and readily available food.

Among the top items on the list for lovers of gourmet food to try were the homemade sausage rolls, the amazingly tender steak sandwiches, the Coolmunda olive and cheese platters, German sausages, Indian food and a range of delicious sweets, tarts, slices, cakes and preserves. 

The many colourful stalls displayed unusual items such as magical aboriginal-inspired art pieces, hand-made fashion items and quilts, skin products, handcrafted woodwork, metal craft, jewellery and creative decorations using native foliage.

High in the popularity stakes were award-winning wines from Stanthorpe and specialist beers including an alcoholic ginger beer.

Other attractions on Saturday  were the performances by vocalist Signy Arnason, the “Sing Australia” Texas Choir, the Inglewood School Band, and local vocalists and guitarists Bruce Thompson and “Red”:

Johnstone. “Red” was also  MC for the day.

During the afternoon  former Inglewood resident Charlie Parrella was available for signing his just published book “Charlie the Barber My Memoirs”.  

Many former tobacco growers, from the era written about in the book, came back  for the weekend to attend “Grooving in the Grove”, to be present at the book signing ,  to attend a re-union dinner that night in Inglewood and the official opening of the replica tobacco barn at the Inglewood Tobacco Museum the next day.

A book signing of “Flat Out- Far Out”  a picture book written by  Libby Blomfield and illustrated by her husband David Blomfield was scheduled for the afternoon but had to be cancelled unexpectedly.

There was a draw for the Tricky Mystery Quiz with three lucky contestants each winning a $25 jar of Coolmunda Olive Boost Facelift.

They were Lorraine Bayley, Joanne Thompson and Mark Hewison. 

Sponsors of “Grooving in the Grove” Doctor Colin Owen and his wife Gesine  have personally thanked the small army of helpers who combined with them in setting up the property for this year’s successful event and co-ordinating the program on the day.

Goondiwindi Regional Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu has praised the work done by many groups throughout the region. “What a big weekend and I congratulate all those who helped with organising these wonderful events.”