Will the weather gods smile on Port’s big party?


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The Port Douglas Carnivale street parade is one of the highlights of the weekend. IMAGE: Newsport.

EDITORIAL: The weather gods are smiling on the Port Douglas Carnivale less than a day out from our town’s big party. And after the drenching we copped last year the news is both welcome and deserved.

Port Douglas recorded its highest daily rainfall for 2016 on Carnivale Saturday last year with more than 168mm pouring down.

The stories of punters trudging to-and-from the Wonderland Spiegeltent and Rex Smeal Park (myself included) have been discussed, with glee, for 12 months in true Tropical North Queensland style. Yet chatter has quickly turned to what the weather will dish up this weekend.

Well, Queensland forecaster Julian De Morton brings good news.

“There is not much in the way of showers in Port Douglas this weekend, and on the whole it looks like it’s going to be fine,” he said from the Bureau of Meteorology today.

“It’s looking good, you couldn’t ask for much better in the area for this time of the year.”

In fact, De Morton said the early forecast indicates only ‘a slim’ chance of rain on Friday and Saturday afternoon.

“Based on the latest model runs, the most likely chance of showers will be overnight Saturday into Sunday morning. But we’re not talking about much rain, less than a millimeter.”

“There certainly won’t be a repeat of your Carnivale last year.”

For those yet to book tickets this is your cue.

Carnivale organiser Melissa Head, from Knockout Events, has stacked this year’s program inside and out of the Spiegeltent. She’d be forgiven for practicing Feng Shui for good luck such was the downpour last year, but it never dampened her spirit.

“Don’t tell anyone but I did purchase a sage stick and have been sniffing it daily, I hope that helps keep the rain away,” she joked.

Melissa said the experience had been invaluable in the lead up to this weekend. She spoke with affection of the ‘tremendous spirit’ displayed by the Port Douglas people who happily sang in the rain last year.

“Normally there is one backup plan, I now have three and another plan to back that up,” she said with a smile.

“You can’t help the weather. It’s Tropical North Queensland so there is always going to be a risk. A shower here and there is not a worry to the locals, they will come out in any weather.”

And there is plenty to come out for.

The critically acclaimed Ben Lee will headline the Port on a Fork Food, Music and Wine Festival on Saturday in Rex Smeal Park, with blues and roots star Leanne Tennant also on the bill. Tick.

The Fisherman’s Village Music Festival on Sunday has moved to Rex Smeal Park and includes a kids zone alongside food trucks and a hawkers market. Tick.

And the famed longest lunch also returns to the palm fringed edges of ‘stinger park’ to officially kick off festival weekend on Friday afternoon ahead of the legendary street parade down Macrossan. Another big tick.

“We’re really excited,” Melissa said.

“Securing a major internationally-renowned musician like Ben Lee to not only perform but host a workshop for local musicians is an indication of how Carnivale is evolving into a major national cultural event.

“The weather is going to be perfect, not too hot, and if it is we have air conditioning in the Spiegeltent and plenty of Moroccan tents for cover in Rex Smeal Park.”

So the stage is set for what promises to be an unforgettable Port Douglas Carnivale, which has a little bit of something for everyone. There’s comedy, burlesque, music, art, drag, a family beach day and even a moving theatre on the Bally Hooley train! And the La Soiree spectacular has proved so popular they’ve added an extra show this Sunday night at the Spiegeltent.

“In the words of Dolly Parton ‘if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain’,” Melissa said.

See you all at the party.

Click for a full list of Port Douglas Carnivale events and to book tickets!

Are you ready for Carnivale weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

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