Top 10 things to do around the region
1) Workpac Literary Dinner 2019
Friday, July 19, 6pm
MECC Plenary Halls
The Whitsunday Voices Festival culminates in the WorkPac Literary Dinner. This celebratory event provides an opportunity for guests to meet the authors in a relaxed environment, and to be entertained and inspired by guest speaker, Li Cunxin, author of Mao’s Last Dancer. An inspirational and motivational speaker, Li Cunxin's story is a beautiful account of his extraordinary journey, told with honesty, dignity and pride. Plus enjoy a delicious three-course meal and dance along to the music of Stage Five!
2) G&S Engineering Wine and Food Day
Saturday, July 20, 10.30am – 5.30pm
Queens Park, Mackay
This event brings together an array of restaurants, cafes, festival food vans and stalls coupled with community bars for your feasting pleasure. Stroll through a range of art and craft stalls, make a pit stop in the Kidzone to explore Tepee Territory or browse through the abundance of local produce direct from the region in the Greater Whitsundays Farmers’ Market. Nestle into your favourite patch of grass or wander between the BB Print Main Stage and Grassroots Stage to enjoy the vast variety of live entertainment, including 18 different local and interstate artists.
3) Festival Club
Saturday, July 20, 6.30pm – 10pm
Prepare to be mesmerised by award-winning stage sensation Catherine Alcorn in her hilarious portrayal of Bette Midler when she channels the People’s Diva in this thoroughly rapturous performance! Featuring an electrifying live band, Alcorn will take you on a thrilling roller coaster ride back to the Palace Theatre, New York 1973 when she belts out the diva’s early classics.
4) Photo Walkabout
Sunday, July 21, 10am – noon
Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens
Come and explore these wonderful gardens and take photos with others that are keen to learn about photography. This group workshop is for beginners up to advanced amateurs wanting to learn more. The best way to learn is in a practical, active and fun environment. Requirements: camera (iPhone to DSLR). Cost is free and meeting point is the Gardens meeting room opposite the café.
> Sunday, July 21, 2pm
> Tuesday, July 23, 10am
Sarina – Bob Wood Cultural Hall
Loose Ends is the story of a man who thinks he can organise all his life in boxes and has a knack for getting into mischief. Can this tinkerer learn enough about real friendship to keep him out of trouble? This breathtaking show is highly visual, emotional and unpredictable. It makes inventions and machines fun and adds a few quirky edges to puppetry.
6) DBCT Illuminate
Monday, July 22 – Friday, July 26, 6pm – 9pm daily
Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens
A sea of whimsical creatures, lights and lanterns are set to take up residence in the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens. The MECC Festival and lighting team have partnered with local artists to bring you DBCT Illuminate 3.0. Take the self-guided tour through the garden paths filled with creations made by local schools and enhanced with beautiful lighting. Make a night of it, bring a chair or picnic blanket and settle in under the stars and enjoy the free entertainment by the Jack Sturgeon Stage featuring a variety of local performances Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night.
7) Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus
Tuesday, July 23, 6.30pm
To those who know him, he is Wolfgang, the dart-playing, pun-loving ratbag. To those who are watching and listening, he is the wigged genius Mozart. Come and discover his irrepressible spirit and vibrant compositions through physical comedy and mischievous antics. Designed to amaze people from the age of three and upwards, Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus reinvents the composer’s magical music in a skilful and illuminating show featuring Circa’s dexterous daredevil artists and a live accordionist.
8) Supper Club Sessions
Tuesday, July 23 – Thursday, July 25, 8pm
Mackay Masonic Temple, Wood Street
Mackay music lovers are in for a special treat. Internationally acclaimed singer songwriter and Mackay resident Graeme Connors, will share the stage and the spotlight with three exceptionally talented fellow Australian singer songwriters. Andrew Swift, Fanny Lumsden and Brad Butcher are at the very top of the list of contemporary Australian singer songwriters and Graeme will explore what drives and inspires these highly awarded artists, trading songs and stories from their individual careers.
9) An Unconventional Tour
Wednesday, July 24 – Saturday, July 26, 6.30 (Saturday session is Auslan interpreted and audio described)
55 Wood Street (next to the Masonic Hall)
Don your headsets and be prepared to be taken down quirky laneways, through hidden car parks and into disused shopfronts as you become immersed in new performance, video and art works where the underbelly is revealed and the unconventional embraced!
10) The Mackay Aussie farm and drinks tour
Friday, July 26, 8am – 4.30pm
Various locations around the region
Your day starts with a visit to Sarina Sugar Shed, Australia’s only miniature sugar mill and distillery. An educational and tasty journey of ‘sugar’. A delicious BBQ lunch will await you at Freckle Farm nestled in its own little gorge at the edge of the Pioneer Valley. Owners will show you their holistic management of the farm and the way they work with natural systems. After lunch you’ll get the opportunity to have a hands-on brewing experience at Goanna Brewery. Enjoy a masterclass of beer and cheese matching and get to taste, smell and handle the ingredients that go into making beer and cider.
Courses in Colour
Friday, July 26, 6.30pm
MECC (Lynette Denny Space)
In collaboration with the superb MECC Chefs, the Festival brings you an exclusive pop up dining experience to challenge your senses and enliven your tastebuds. Imagine entering a minimalist room swathed in white and as each sumptuous course is served to you, opulent shades and bursts of colour fall across the room ̶ enhancing your dining experience.
Pet Registration Day
Saturday, July 27, 9am – noon
Mackay Regional Council
Come along to the free event and take advantage of discount pet registration and microchipping, the RSPCA EMU Van, pet stalls and giveaways. Residents who register their pets before July 31 can save up to 50 per cent off the total cost of registering their pet.