Carbe diem: 6 Reasons Relish Food & Wine Festival is a Must-Do

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One of the most popular and seriously delicious events on the Fraser Coast, Relish Food & Wine Festival is held annually at the Mary River Parklands and Queens Park in Maryborough. Celebrating all things culinary (including mouth-watering local cuisine and food stalls, cooking demonstrations, gourmet tastings, celebrity appearances and live music), Relish has been making stomachs grumble since 2014. Celebrating the 8th annual #RelishFestival in 2021, find out our top reasons why a visit to Relish is a must-do for any foodie.

1. Good Food. Good Mood.
Seconds, thirds… who’s counting? Like the saying goes, you too can have your cake at Relish and eat it, along with some low ‘n’ slow beef ribs, locally caught seafood, craft beer and wines as well. Set amongst the beautiful riverfront parklands of Maryborough, there’s endless reasons why Relish is one of the most highly sought-after events of the year on the Fraser Coast.

Local foodie legends and Fraser Coast Tourism Ambassadors, Dan & Steph, will be there to spill the beans during a live cooking demonstration and gourmet taste testing under the Big Tarp, as well as celebrity chef, Matt Golinski.

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2. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth is (Literally) and Support Local
If there’s anything the past year has taught us, it’s that now has never been a better time to get behind our hospitality industry and support local. With local business and tourism taking a huge toll due to COVID-19, rolling up our sleeves and bringing our best A(ppetite) game seems like the least we can do.

Meet the people behind the food that you love to eat. From the farmers, producers and professional cooks, who will be there to happily share a piece of their pie with you. Sample some of the very best our local produce has to offer and celebrate the art of good food. Whether you spend the day as a tourist in your own town, or you’re venturing from outside of the region, Relish is an experience we can’t wait for you to indulge in now that festivals have been given the green light in 2021.

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3. Because Variety is the Spice of Life
There will never be too many cooks in the #RelishFestival kitchen. Whether you are a lover of sugar and spice, coffee, cocktails or meat, there’s all things nice and something for every tastebud on the day. Culinary favourites from across the Fraser Coast, including Lychee Divine, Hill of Promise Winery and Cellar Door, MAD Providore and of course, Mr Whippy Fraser Coast, plus hundreds more will be there on the day to make sure you don’t go home empty-handed (or empty stomach!). Keep an eye on the Food Lovers Marquee and Sessions Program for more information about the upcoming stallholders and food vendors on the day.

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4. Celebrate Maryborough
There is more than meets the eye in one of Queensland’s oldest cities. The heritage-listed streetscapes form the perfect backdrop for a day out on the town, and while you relish the local cuisines, you’ll be surrounded by striking art thanks to The Maryborough Mural Trail, and history with the Mary Poppins-themed crosswalks and Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial Trail.

Maryborough’s replica of the first steam engine built in Queensland, The Mary Ann, will also be chugging its way through the parklands during the day, and guaranteed to keep the kids (big and little!) enter-trained. Other popular attractions will be opening their doors on the day, including the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum and Gatakers Artspace, so make sure you pop by and say hello.

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5. Music and Chill
Because there’s more to Relish than what meets the stomach. A true experience for the senses, your feet will be tapping as much as your teeth are chewing, with live music from the Main Stage and the Rotunda in Queens Park on the day. Highlights for this year’s event include local artists Matt Barker, Dust, Leonie Kingdom, Frank Benn and Doug Edwards. Check out the Live Music program for more information.

Now that dancing is back, come prepared for dancing in the street with some of your best moves. Or simply have a seat, and enjoy your brunch/lunch/afternoon tea with a show. Visiting from outside the region? There’s STILL every excuse to let your hair down, with courtesy buses running from both Hervey Bay and Bundaberg. The courtesy bus will be departing Hervey Bay from 9:15am and 10:30am, and Bundaberg from 8:30am. Reserve your seat here.

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6. Something for Everyone
Relish also hosts a variety of foodie-themed events, for those looking for a unique and seriously delicious experience. From fermenting classes, cheese and sourdough making, to paint, scribble and sip sessions – new sessions are added each year. Tickets are essential and sell FAST, so be sure to grab yours today via the Relish website.

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Need some more buttering up? Meet some of our new events coming to #RelishFestival in 2021.

Perhaps you are looking to be taken on a literal beer and wine journey, then hop aboard the M.V. Amaroo for a morning, afternoon or twilight cruise with The Hervey Bay Boat Club, and cruise along the Mary River with a craft beer, alcoholic ginger beer or Robert Oatley’s wine in hand. Other culinary journeys on the day include A Food & Cocktail Journey with the team at Odyessy Bistro, showcasing some of the finest ingredients on the Fraser Coast, and Tipples & Tales at the historic Bond Store, with several live performances and stories from the Gauger throughout the day – paired with port and special liqueur cocktails of course.

For the coffee lovers, head to a morning multi-sensory taste testing with Portside Café & Restaurant. Morning or afternoon tea is also served from Portside, with a Pimm’s High Tea featuring elegantly handcrafted petit fours, ribbon sandwiches, scones (with cream and house-made jam) and a view overlooking the Mary River – you’ll even get a lesson from Miss Etiquette. Bon Appetit!

Lunchtime is taken care of thanks to our friends at The Deck & Anchor, featuring locally sourced seafood and produce, topped off with live music and Aussie wines and beers alongside the Mary River. And for the carnivores, make sure you bring along your appetite, because the team at Arkarra LOW+SLOW will also be putting on a feast on the day, offering mouth-watering well-marbled beef short ribs – straight from the BBQ pit.

Don’t forget to leave room for dessert, and Cheese & Chill with a gourmet platter from local delicatessen royalty, MAD Providore. Enjoy it at the beautifully styled chill-out zone on the day, or take it away and bask under the Banyan Trees of Queens Park. Basically, the Fraser Coast’s food scene is your oyster!

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*Tickets to one of Relish Food & Wine Festival’s programs are essential. Grab yours here

Relish Food & Wine Festival 2021 is proudly sponsored by Fraser Coast Tourism & Events, the University of Sunshine Coast, Fraser Coast Regional Council, G&D Ross Bus Charters, Delux Party Hire and Wide Bay Sound Systems.