Mary Poppins Festival

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 06/20/2019

Reading time: 3 mins

Head to Fraser Coast in June and see the festive celebration of Mary Poppins!

Most will remember Mary Poppins as a youthful Julie Andrews singing sweetly and taking the children on marvellous adventures. But did you know that the author of her journey, P.L Travers was actually born in Maryborough, Queensland? The people of Maryborough have celebrated the birthplace of the author for the last 13 years, with each new year bringing many even more magical delights for those both young and old. The origins of the festival date back to 1999 when the Proud Marys; an association joined by women whose names are Mary, hosted a morning tea to help the area gain fame and offshoot the festival which is now much loved by all.

Performances and Activities

From jewellery making to clay making workshops, you’ll be able to create your own version of a Mary Poppins character or listen to the spoken words of father and daughter poetry duo Jason and Megan Roweth who are known to move crowds with their stories. There is also plenty of theatre acts to go see, such as the classic and much-loved tale of The Cat in the Hat and a youth masterclass on the basics of working in theatre.

Meet Glen the bubble-ologist or giggle with Marc the joyologist who is known to spread happiness wherever he goes. There will even be the Mary Poppins Market, a special edition of the Maryborough City Heart Markets on during the 8-day event. If you were wanting a brush up on both the original and the new Mary Poppins movies, there will be two locations that are playing them. The first is at Neilsen Park where you can sit amongst the trees and green grass, or there’s the Town Hall Green where you can watch both movies.

The Author Behind Mary Poppins

P.L Travers, the author of Mary Poppins was actually born Helen Lyndon in the year 1899 in Maryborough, Queensland. After a successful career as a Shakespearean actress in plays which is where the pseudonym P.L Travers or Pamela Lyndon Travers, was born. With budding literary dreams, she moves to London, England to pursue her career in writing, befriending famed poet William Yeats along the way. In 1934 Mary Poppins becomes a hit success as soon as it reaches the shelves. What follows after this is the instant fame that she long desired with her last Mary Poppins book making waves in 1988.

It was a well-known fact that the prickly author detested the 1964 Mary Poppins film starring Julie Andrews, however it made her extremely wealthy due to the major success of the movie. This would begin a long feud between P.L Travers and Walt Disney, one that went on even after her death as she banned anyone from the original production cast of the movie to ever make any movies of her other books, only allowing English playwrights to make her books into a stage musical.

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Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.