Easter on the Macintyre is over and the countdown has begun.

Easter on the Macintyre is over and the countdown has begun.

The message which was the finale at this year's fireworks display at Easter on the Macintyre.

The message which was the finale at this year's fireworks display at Easter on the Macintyre.

Planning for the 2018 event  is well underway with Goondiwindi preparing to make the most of being a “gateway to Queensland”.

It will tie in with the opening of the Commonwealth Games which will produce a bonanza for the community. At least that’s th ehope of the Goondiwindi Regional Council.

“Perfect weather led to what was another outstanding Easter on the Macintyre and opens the door for an even bigger event in 2018 when Goondiwindi becomes the gateway to Queensland for the southern traveller on their way to the Gold Coast for the opening of the Commonwealth Games on April 4, 2018,” GRC Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu said..

This year however the bigh weekend began with the launch of Goondiwindi Cotton’s winter fashions.

It was a fundraiser for the Tie up the Black Dog Committee.

“Proprietor of Goondiwindi Cotton and his staff Sam Coulton hosted a wonderful evening,” Cr Scheu said.

While the Macintyre River was still quite dirty form the recent floods and the Fishing Competition was cancelled, a number of keen anglers still tried their luck over the weekend.

As expected, the Saturday night at the river precinct was another “great success” with a number of talented juniors performing on stage at  the Tait Toyota Light and Sound Show.

“Visitors where amazed at the talent displayed and those that took part should be justly proud of their performances. 

“As has become the norm, the Fireworks from the Bridge were another awesome display with visitors commenting on the quality of the display. 

More 2,000 attended who stayed on after the fireworks to be entertained by band, “The Local Lot”.

 Community groups such as the Goondiwindi State School Music Group and Rotary, Apex and Lions catered.

A visit from the Physics on Bikes was another highlight as the team rode in on their bikes and conducted Men’s Health checks. On Sunday, after “Brekkie at the Royal”, the team visited the quilting display at the Golden Age Centre. They took a photo in front of the old gum tree on the river beside the Golden Age, made a quick trip to do the Victoria Hotel Pub Tour , jumped on their bikes and headed off to St George.

“Hospitality providers reported above average sales for the weekend and on top of the previous weekend’s very successful Picnic Races, the town has encountered a very busy tourist period.

“Once again unfortunately, penalty rates played a part in restricting businesses from operating fully.

“As one business said, ‘it would be great to open more and keep the visitors to the town happy but unfortunately, there is not enough volume to be paying waitresses $53 per hour for three of the four public holidays,” Cr Scheu said.

“Most organisations have committed again for next year’s event which is promising to be the biggest yet. As well as the Easter on the Macintyre and  Welcome to Queensland for the games, Goondiwindi has been awarded the eight-day Australian Water Ski Championships which will be held prior to and over the Easter break.”

Organisers are searching for a major event to be staged on the Sunday to replace what was the TAB Rcaeday which was withdrawn this year due to funding cuts within Racing Queensland.