The History of the Festival



In 1958, a group called the Geraldton Retail Traders' Association came up with the idea of holding a tomato festival in Geraldton...

...perhaps inspired by previous festivals such as the Wonthella Progress Association's Bazaar days and Spring Festival Parades in the early and mid 1950s.

The Geraldton Guardian took up the idea, publishing an editorial on 30 August 1958 commending these enterprising citizens on the concept. As the group's plans evolved, the name changed to the Sunshine Festival, no doubt to draw attention to the consistently sunny days in the region, and on 21 August 1959, the longest running regional festival in Western Australia was born.

2018 marks the 60th festival, a major milestone in anyone's language. Looking back, not much has changed since its inception. It is largely run by a group of volunteers with substantial support from the City, sponsors and businesses and there are events in this year's festival that have been present right from the start. These include the much loved children's Chapman Animal Hospital Pet Parade, the Sunshine Festival Float Parade, the CWA Sand Sculptures as well as many other opportunities for the community to gather together and celebrate all that life has to offer in the Geraldton region.

Join us in celebrating the 61st Geraldton Sunshine Festival from the 6th-12th of October for a week of activities for the whole family.

Here are a few hystoric slide shows and videos for you to enjoy!