Life Without Barriers' Grand Central Floral Parade float

20 September 2021

The people we support got creative and made a beautiful butterfly float for the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

Image: Left-right: Sanjay, Gordon, Debra and Dhiraj finishing off the float.

The Queensland city of Toowoomba is nicknamed the Garden City and is surrounded by more than 150 beautiful parks and gardens. The Grand Central Floral Parade, now in its 72nd year, is a vibrant street festival that unites and attracts thousands of people to the parklands each year as part of the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

Last year the floral parade was cancelled due to COVID, but last Saturday, while many Australian cities and towns were still in lockdown, large crowds once again lined the streets of Toowoomba.

Life Without Barriers staff and the people we support had been busily preparing for the parade for weeks. They supported people with disability chose if they wanted to march in the parade or have their work shown off in a floral float. This year was the sixth time Life Without Barriers had entered the parade.

Image: During the parade

Nerrida Wolfe, Disability Program Coordinator for Life Without Barriers said the team designed their float around the theme of ‘Emerging Landscape’. The team created butterfly wings in various colours, reflecting the values of Life Without Barriers (Relationships, Imagination, Courage, Respect and Responsiveness).

“We plan to repurpose as many of the items and costumes as we can to create an event later in the year – a Butterfly Ball.”

The parade was hugely successful and a wonderful opportunity for people with disability to showcase their creativity and maximise their self-expression in the design and creation of their “Emerging Landscape” float.

“This year’s parade, made everyone feel very included, it was a great opportunity for our people to get out there and be seen by the community." Said Narrida.

This year’s Grand Central Floral Parade featured almost thirty floats, ten bands and fifteen marching groups, and several visual arts and community groups.

Image: Final touches on the floats.

As Major Partners of Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers, Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock said; “The Grand Central Floral Parade is such a unique, colourful and community-driven event, to see it back, and brighter than ever before will be a joyful experience for everyone, regardless of age!

“Heritage Bank is committed to providing a helping hand to community groups so they can participate in this iconic event. A little bit of help can go a long way and Heritage Bank is keen to show support and help celebrate the amazing community spirit that can be discovered in Toowoomba.”

We want to thank the Heritage Bank for choosing Life Without Barriers to receive a grant for the float!

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