Sunflowers will brighten your day at this disability-accessible festival

Posted 1 month ago by Georgie Waters
Not all events are disability-friendly, but the Kalbar Sunflower Festival is hoping to increase inclusivity in their outdoor event. [Source: Shutterstock]
Not all events are disability-friendly, but the Kalbar Sunflower Festival is hoping to increase inclusivity in their outdoor event. [Source: Shutterstock]

Held in Queensland, the Kalbar Sunflower Festival is said to be a disability-friendly event.

Key points:

  • The Kalbar Sunflower Festival is being held from April 19 to April 21, 2024, with many accessible activities to include people living with disability
  • In Australia, around 4.4 million people are reported to be living with disability
  • As well as markets and unique dining experiences, the Kalbar Sunflower Festival will include a sensory garden and a ‘Quiet Tent’ for people feeling overstimulated

An inclusive outdoor event is set to flourish in Queensland this April, with the Kalbar Sunflower Festival hoping to draw many visitors to the beautiful sunflower fields. The festival is scheduled from April 19 to April 21, 2024, where guests are invited to bask in the presence of over a million sunflowers.

Around 4.4 million Australians are reported to have disability, with many of these people living with conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities and mental health issues. Not all events are suitable for people living with disability, but the organisers of Kalbar Sunflower Festival are making sure that this isn’t the case for their event. 

Jenny Jenner, owner and manager of Kalbar Sunflowers, wants to ensure the festival is an inclusive and inviting experience for everyone to enjoy. She understands the importance of ensuring people are comfortable and are catered for the duration of their visit.

“We will also have a Quiet Tent for those with sensory needs, and we will have buggy rides through the sunflowers for those with added accessibility issues,” said Jenny.

Calming notions are expected at the festival with sunrise yoga and sound healing in the sunflowers, and being able to wander at your leisure through the sunflower fields, with mountain views ahead.

Jenny wants the festival to be an enjoyable experience for all, as this ideal was originally established by herself and her husband Russell.

“[sic] This has been a huge project but it’s something I am committed to creating, to ensure the flowers can be experienced by everyone, as was Russell and my original intention,” said Jenny.

During the drought in 2021, Russell and Jenny were struggling to grow their regular crop, when the idea was sparked to grow sunflowers, a crop that doesn’t require much water at all. 

Not long after, Russell was diagnosed with stage four oesophageal cancer and passed away after the 2023 festival last year. Over $115,000 has been raised in the most recent two festivals, with Jenny hoping to reach her goal of $100,000 at this year’s festival for the Mater Cancer Care Centre at Springfield.

At the 2024 festival, new additions and improvements have been made to help visitors make the most of their visit. New features for this year’s festival include a sensory garden and 180 metres of wheelchair-tracking through the sunflowers. Additionally, a fairy garden will be incorporated into the festival, with mini-sunflowers to allow people with wheelchairs and young children to see the beautiful flowers at eye level.

Other activities, such as sunflower art classes for children and adults, mini photography sessions, helicopter rides and flower crown masterclasses, are also expected to be booked up quickly. Unique dining experiences are also available for booking and each dining ticket includes a donation to the cancer care organisation selected by Jenny.

Tickets are being released at the end of March and are expected to sell out quickly. According to the website, tickets for last year’s festival sold out in less than 24 hours. Ticket prices are available online and if you require a companion card, they are free with a paying visitor.

Organisers of the festival recommend booking at selected accommodation venues, as tickets to this year’s event will be included in the booking price.

What other disability-friendly events do you love to attend?

Let the team at Talking Disability know on social media. 

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