Garter Belts & Gasoline

Garter Belts & Gasoline, which enters its sixth year in 2014, is a highly anticipated event that combines two elements of 1950s nostalgia: fast cars and burlesque. But there's much more to the festival, such as live rockabilly, jump blues and alternative country music, vintage fashion shows, pinup contests, exhibits displaying Kustom Kulture art and old movies, not to mention derby races featuring vintage soap box cars.

It runs from May 2 through 4, 2014, Queensland Labour Day weekend, on the delightful Tamborine Mountain, a lush landscape with plenty of wineries and restaurants for you to explore during your downtime. Get ready for an exciting weekend of festivities by learning about these highlights of Garter Belts & Gasoline:


Rockabilly Ball

The weekend kicks off Friday night at 7 p.m. with the Rockabilly Ball at the Vonda Youngman Community Centre on Main Street. It's intended for adults - there is, after all, a full bar - but kids are welcome as well as long as they are accompanied by someone 18 or older. For this party, locals and visitors are welcome to partake in an evening full of dining, dancing and live entertainment. A stellar lineup of performers are scheduled to play, including Wes Pudsey & The Sonic Aces out of New South Wales, The Lincolns from Southern Australia and Little Mac & The Monster Men from the Australian Capital Territory. There will also be burlesque shows by Magnolia Knife and Betsy Blunder-Muff. Guests are encouraged to dress to the nines.


Vintage Soap Box Derby

For many, the highlight of Garter Belts & Gasoline is the Saturday Vintage Soap Box Derby. It runs from 7 a.m. to noon at the corner of Long and Curtis roads, and it's free to spectators. It's the only race of its kind in Australia, taking to the public road for this 1950s-style match. Juniors, teens and adults go head-to-head on the track, where up to 50 cars that went through up to a year of design and construction let gravity propel them down a 700-metre course. After a day of exhilarating yet family-friendly racing, participants and spectators make their way to the MT Brewery for a refreshing ale, a filling meal and an awards show that presents the winners with trophies.


Movie Matinee

After the derby, guests can take in a relaxing afternoon of movie watching at Zamia Theater. It will feature a pair of vintage pinup and hot rod movies. First up is the 1959 black and white film "Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow," which is a follow-up to the classic movie, " Hot Rod Gang." After an intermission, the big screen will present "Dragstrip Girl." Also a black and white film, this piece, which was made in 1957, tells the tale of an unlikely love between a dragstrip racer and girl-next-door type.


Kustom Kulture Art Exhibition

The Kustom Kulture Art Exhibition is open all three days of the festival from 1 to 3 p.m. and is free to the public (except on Sunday, when it's part of the Hot Rod Carnivale and requires an admission fee). For this exhibition, the Tamborine Showground's vintage hall turns into an art gallery that showcases works inspired by the 1950s and hot rod culture as well as vintage movies. It features everything from paintings to metal sculptures to tikis, and there are live pinstriping demonstrations each day.


Meltdown & Pinup Contest

On Saturday night, patrons gather at the Vonda Youngman Community Centre for the Meltdown. The celebration is a night of live music by Amber Fox from the U.S., Victoria's The Firebird Trio and Western Australia's Johnny Law & The Pistol Packin' Daddies. Burlesque performances will be provided by Jacqueline Fury and Lila Luxx, but the main feature is the pinup contest. Ten women compete for the a slew of prizes, but only one wins the coveted title of Miss GarterBelts & Gasoline.


Hot Rod Carnivale

Another major event - the Hot Rod Carnivale - starts Sunday off with a bang. It takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tamborine Showground. Hundreds of vehicles from the 1970s and earlier will be on display. You can expect to see custom cars, vintage caravans and British bikes, among other classics. As you peruse the display of cars, enjoy music on two different stages, such as The Firebird Trio, Ten Fours and The Sugar​ Shakers. There will also be a marketplace where you can shop from handmade items and unique goods from local vendors. Adults and children are welcome to lay out a picnic blanket on the open green space, relax and enjoy the day of festivities. After the carnivale, guests head to the historic Saint Bernard Hotel for the Sunday Night Wind Down, where people enjoy a drink together and chat amongst each other before departing.

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