It was not until I was watching the movie, Saving Mr Banks (pictured above), that I learned the woman who created Mary Poppins was an Australian. How did I get to adulthood not knowing this?
“Was Mary Poppins Australian mum?”my children asked. Well, not the magical original super nanny, but the woman who created her, P.L Travers, certainly was.
I am all for Australia celebrating its national treasures – both environment, architecture and people – so it is great to learn that the Queensland town of Maryborough, birthplace of P.L Travers, commemorates its famous author with an annual festival.
Now in its 8th year, the festival honours Travers, whose story is definitely better known thanks to the Disney production, Saving Mr Banks, starring Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks (highly recommended viewing if you have not yet seen it).
This quirky festival transforms the heritage streetscapes of Maryborough into Cherry Tree Lane of the Poppins novels and characters come to life, including Mary Poppins and Admiral Boom, who fires his time cannon throughout the day.
This year, the festival will be held on Sunday 5 July from 10am – 4pm.
Last year, the LA Times listed Maryborough’s Mary Poppins Festival as one of the world’s best ‘off beat’ events not to be missed. Highlights of the day include:
- a Grand Parade, in which participants don their finest hats and umbrella
- the Great Nanny Challenge, where participants dress up in traditional nanny uniform and push a traditional pram, complete with a traditional ‘baby’
- Morning tea tours
- interactive craft experiences for the kids with hands-on, creative sessions involving puppets, circus troupes, arty umbrellas, vintage styling makeovers and more.
The Mary Poppins Festival also acted as the catalyst for the introduction of Fraser Coast Street Life, a festival that celebrates the art, culture and heritage of the region. The inaugural Street Life Festival will take art and culture ‘to the streets’ with street busking
Maryborough ‘The Heritage city’ is just under 300km north-west of Brisbane, on Queensland’s Fraser Coast. If you are in the area these school holidays, make sure to drop in. Or why not head north from Brisbane for a short break with the kids? Check out all the details below.