Passersby may have been a little confused on Tuesday when a giant slice of watermelon rolled towards Chinchilla, but locals could only watch on with excitement.
As part of a national campaign by travel company, Wotif, to gift the nation a new tourist attraction in celebration of the company’s 18th birthday, Chinchilla's Big Melon bid beat applications from across the country and three other finalists from Kingaroy and the New South Wales towns of Mittagong and Glen Innes.
Taking pride of place next to the town’s information centre, the eight-metre long structure has created quite the buzz as the Chinchilla Melon Festival gets ready to celebrate its 25th year.
Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said he couldn’t wait to see residents and travelers having their picture taken with the new attraction.
"The Big Melon is going to be fantastic not only for the Chinchilla community but the whole Western Downs region," he said.
Councillor McVeigh said The Big Melon would benefit local tourism and business.
"This is another drawcard for people to visit our region, shop at our local businesses and enjoy an authentic country experience," he said.
The Western Downs has become a great region for people travelling around Queensland due to its numerous family-friendly events.
These tourist events combined with The Big Melon will boost the regional economy and allow local business to thrive.
Council Spokesperson for Economic Development Councillor Donna Ashurst said The Big Melon grew the region's reputation for being a fantastic destination for visitors.
"We pride ourselves on putting on the best shows, hosting the best festivals and events and providing unforgettable memories for families and friends," she said.
Melon Festival committee member, Tania Thornton, said bringing a ‘big melon’ to the town had been a goal for the committee since the festival started.
“The Big Melon has been our dream since the beginning and we are so proud to be able to cement our status as Australia’s Melon Capital.”
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