Today the Premier of Queensland, the Honorable Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, joined QRL Chairman Bruce Hatcher and dignitories at Treasury Brisbane to announce the launch of the inaugural Maroon Festival, an all-new, free community event that will take over South Bank from Sunday May 28 until Wednesday May 31.
In the lead-up to the 2017 Holden State of Origin Series, proud and passionate Queenslanders of all ages will gather at South Bank to celebrate not just rugby league, but the very best of Queensland.
Over the last 36 years, State of Origin has become an intergenerational lightning rod for Queensland spirit, a time when people from all backgrounds across the state come together and unite as one, not just as rugby league and Maroons team supporters, but immensely proud and passionate Queenslanders.
Maroon Festival is also pleased to announce that Former Origin Great, Petero Civoniceva, is the official community ambassador for Maroon Festival 2017. Petero is a Rugby League legend and all-round great Queenslander, who played 33 Origin games during his impressive 14-year career as a professional footballer.
Since his retirement, Civoniceva has worked as an NRL One Community Ambassador, working on community programs both in Queensland and his native Fiji.
QRL Chairman Bruce Hatcher says the inaugural Maroon Festival will generate an amazing atmosphere across the city as the XXXX Queensland Maroons prepare for the crucial opening match of the series at Suncorp Stadium.
“The concept of harnessing and amplifying this passion and pride with an inclusive, community festival has been taking shape for some time,” says Mr Hatcher.
“The Festival will extend the State of Origin Series experience for fans beyond the game, attracting more visitors to Queensland and creating economic opportunities for Brisbane and the greater south-east.
“The QRL is excited to bring this event to life with the support of our principal and presenting partner, The Star Entertainment Group and our major partners, The Queensland Government and the NRL.”
The Star Entertainment Group Managing Director Queensland Geoff Hogg said the company is proud to support the inaugural event, which will celebrate Queensland’s passion and unique spirit.
“Since 2015, The Star has been the Official Partner of the QRL, and our Treasury Brisbane and Jupiters Gold Coast properties have been proud to be the home of the XXXX Queensland Maroons during State of Origin,” said Mr Hogg.
The Queensland Government is also proud to be a major partner of Maroon Festival and encourages all Queenslanders to come out and enjoy one of the State’s largest sporting events in a family friendly environment. At today’s launch, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk relected on how supporting the XXXX Queensland Maroons unites all Queenslanders.
“It is a chance to celebrate everything it means to be a proud Queenslander and reflect on all the wonderful qualities of our State, our inclusiveness and diversity,” the Premier said.
“With Queensland Day held annually on 6 June, we have worked closely with Queensland Rugby League to ensure the Maroon Festival reinforces State pride and our generous spirit that comes from watching the Mighty Maroons in action.”