GUARANTEED CHILLS: Snowflakes in Stanthorpe returns for another year.
GUARANTEED CHILLS: Snowflakes in Stanthorpe returns for another year. Liana Turner

Snowflakes distracts from drought and boosts tourism

IT'S time to get your warm woollies out for a beloved winter festival, as Snowflakes in Stanthorpe hits the region over this weekend.

Back for a third year, the festival is set to be bigger than ever, with over 1200 people expected Saturday alone.

Event organiser Robyn Henderson said the festival would offer a welcome distraction from the drought and give a healthy boost to local business.

"Yes, we're in a drought,” Mrs Henderson said.

"Yes, the water from the snow is from out of town because of the drought, but the festival brings in an enormous amount of tourism and excitement to the region.

"We have plenty of red rosy cheeks outside right now.”

Mrs Henderson said she had sold tickets all over Australia, including Victoria, NSW and even the Northern Territory.

"The crowds are already incredible,” she said.

"You can see people about in town and all the shops are busy.”

Mrs Henderson said was blown away by community support for the festival this year.

"It just shines a spotlight on the town and our community,” she said.

"We love the community spirit that people have been showing.

"It's really nice to see people get involved as a community and get to see the benefits of the festival.

"So many people have created snowflake memorabilia for tourists to take home.

"And people can now take home these things and show everyone what a great time they've had in Stanthorpe.”

But, the festival is not just for tourists, Mrs Henderson said.

"There's over 50 activities and it's not expensive to get in the gate, and once you're inside all activities are free, so why not come out enjoy what the region has to offer?” she said.

Planned events include fireworks, an ice skating rink, ice sculpture competitions, local bands, and plenty of local food and wine.

Mrs Henderson said the committee had been planning the festival for 18 months, trying to find a way to run the festival, despite the drought.

"It took an enormous amount of effort to plan the snow and find the water to make the ice,” Mrs Henderson said.

The festival runs from July 5-7.

What's on at Snowflakes Saturday and Sunday:

- Ice skating rink ( 9am-7pm on Saturday and 9am-5pm on Sunday)

- Giant snowglobes

- Frosty's bar

- Enchanted forest area

- Ice planet play area

- Sled dogs

- Market and food stalls