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Baroona Hall 1883
(Drawing: © S Woolcock; 1988)
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Caxton is the street where much of Brisbane history has long been made. The setting western sun hanging over Caxton Street late on a Friday afternoon sometimes still sings with some of the ghosts of Brisbane past from the notorious Petrie Terrace Jail to the electric trams thundering down Caxton Street to the infamous underground Brisbane music scene of the 1970s.Some of Queensland’s oldest and lovingly preserved buildings –the Lord Alfred (1870), the Caxton (1884) and Baroona Hall (1883) line the Street with distinctive character while the fabric of the Caxton Street precinct itself has always been about community.
No other precinct in Brisbane can match the flavour of Caxton Street’s unique community and history. Since the early 1900s, the Caxton Hotel has maintained a tradition of family owned and operated business while the Gambaros restaurant dynasty opened their fish and chip shop on Caxton Street in 1953. It is here where the story of Caxton Street’s iconic Seafood and Wine Festival begins.

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Lord Alfred Hotel 1929
(Photo: State Library of Queensland and John Oxley Library; #1873)

This well loved Queensland event began with the Caxton Street family businesses getting together and celebrating their local community. Humble beginnings with pyjama parties, a few little jazz bands and a couple of food tents have led to the Caxton Street Seafood and Wine Festival raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for Queensland charities since 1994.

How very rare it is for local business competitors to join forces to produce an annual event? Yet this one little street consistently pulls tens of thousands of people together in community every Labour Day weekend making the Caxton Street Seafood and Wine Festival one of the few remaining annual Community events to be still held in Brisbane. It’s not just the businesses on Caxton Street who all work in unison together to create Brisbane’s biggest street party –we partner companies from Petrie Terrace, Paddington, Auchenflower and Milton. True to form, this year the charity beneficiary is the local Wesley Hospital’s Kim Walters Choices Program.

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Premier Peter Beattie opens Festival with Michael Gambaro 2006
Image by The Pushworth Group

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Russell Crowe 2006
Image by The Pushworth Group

To add to the texture, our festival is not simply a local community organism. Since 1994, well over 2000 Australian and International musicians have graced our three stages. With its long history of supporting live music, this one festival has provided support for several burgeoning Australian musical careers and is coveted by artists from across the globe.
Festival organisers also connect with several Queensland Tertiary Institutions for its annual Volunteer program designed to not only support the Festival experience of each patron but to give Volunteers the opportunity to witness and participate the behind the scenes of a Major Festival.

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Volunteers 2013
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Caxton Street
Donna Hawkins

In 2011, inspired by the courage and strength of Brisbane people
during the devastating floods in January, renowned Australian artist, Donna Hawkins, painted Caxton Street as a tribute to one of Queensland’s most historic and colourful precincts.That’s the thing about Caxton Street –there’s not another precinct in Brisbane that can match the collections of stories or flavours of its unique community and history.
Named as one of Queensland’s Iconic Festivals in 2009, there is no other festival in Brisbane that brings people together like the Caxton Street Seafood and Wine Festival.

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    Teresagambaro_headshot"Congratulations on 20 years celebrating Brisbane’s bounty of delicious seafood and wine and access to world class entertainment in and around Caxton Street.  Here’s to another 20 years of this iconic Queensland festival!"

    Main photo"I am a proud supporter of Caxton Street, which is a vibrant and active business precinct. Caxton Street is an important contributor to Brisbane’s economy and each dollar spent in a local business returns many…"

    pm-01"As Local Councillor I congratulate the Caxton Street traders on their charity sponsorship to Wesley Hospital Prostrate Cancer Program. The festival has a long history in the local area and Council is proud to sponsor…"