CRUNCH TIME: Plans for Kingaroy ‘big peanut’ revealed
The peanut capital of Australia will soon be home to the 'big peanut' and join the list of Aussie towns proudly displaying their token 'big thing' along our country's most iconic tourist trail.
After five long years of campaigning to bring the tourism drawcard to Kingaroy, Kristy and Geoffrey Board, along with local filmmaker Tina Torrens, will venture to Grafton to meet with artist Kane Minogue from Studio 303.
Mr Minogue, a metal magician, will transform the tower of historical nuts and bolts contributed by the Kingaroy community into a 3.5 metre tall peanut, which will be perched upon a six foot platform in Lions Park within the next few months.
"The committee's journey has been going on for five years and now it will finally come to a head," Mrs Board said.
"So, the sculpture's been commissioned and we have been running around the region collecting bits and pieces of local farming machinery that worked the soils of the South Burnett, so then we can tell that regional story through the sculpture."
Mrs Board described the sculpture as a "community powered peanut", only possible through the combined efforts of locals after the original appeal was squashed by a big watermelon with Chinchilla's successful bid for a 'big' tourist drawcard during a competition in 2019.
After the idea was pitched, she said the support shown by Kingaroy's community, industry and business was "quite overwhelming".
"We've got industry sponsorship, which is awesome, then we've also got the community contribution, so there's around $5000 that's been raised through GoFundMe and cash donations as well," Mrs Board said.
"And then we've also got sponsorship through local company ATC engineering, so they're a local engineering company that's going to make sure it's all going to be safe and compliant."
The community has also jumped on board, donating historical farming bits and pieces to be added into the body of the sculpture. Mrs Board said through these contributions they could then start sharing the stories of their original owners.
Aiming to unveil the enormous sculpture at the end of the peanut farming season in April, Mrs Board said the peanut would be accompanied by a sign containing the names of everyone who had donated.
She said people even gifted their loved one's a spot on the list for Valentine's Day, donating to the project under their Valentine's name.
In a nutshell, the peanut is designed to tell the story of the South Burnett and share that narrative with the rest of the state and country in a unique artistic way.
"The region is shifting and changing, but our region is built off the backbone of peanut farmers. So, it's really important to celebrate that and we're known as the peanut capital of Australia," she said.
"And there's nothing stopping us from being the next food destination. We do food exceptionally well here and peanuts are just one part of that story."
If you're keen to contribute to this iconic sculpture and leave your footprint on Kingaroy's history, drop off any embossed pieces such as tractor badges, bolts, chains and cogs at Anderssons Fruit Market before Thursday afternoon.