THE 2021 Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival kicked off an earnest in the Burdekin, with more than 2,000 people attending the First Fire at the Home Hill Showgrounds on Thursday night.
The signature event marked the start of Burdekin Shire's annual sugar cane crushing season, with the first crop of cane in the region set a light.
The festival continues with the Burdekin Cultural Fair on Friday night and the Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships on Saturday.
Burdekin Shire Council Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said the support from surrounding regions was overwhelming.
"Tonight, the Burdekin welcomed our largest crowd ever to the First Fire, with more than 2,000 people through the gates of the Home Hill Showgrounds," Ms McLaughlin said.
"Council has been inundated with calls and messages from our neighbours in Bowen and Townsville over the past week checking what time the First Fire would start to ensure they made it here after work, and I want to thank them all for their support of one of North Queensland's signature destination events.
"Cane fires are symbolic of the Burdekin and North Queensland lifestyle, with the Festival itself named after the sweetness of some of our key agriculture including sugar cane, melons, honey, achacha and lychee, and the hot nights of sugar cane being burnt during the crushing season."
The 2021 Sweet Days, Hot Nights Festival will continue with the Burdekin Cultural Fair from 5:30pm this Friday at Rugby Park, Ayr and the Australian Hand Cane Cutting Championships from 10am- 4pm on Saturday at the Home Hill Showgrounds.
- For more information, visit sweetdayshotnights.com.au.