The Carnival of Rowes: Russell St building to come alive - The Chronicle

THE Russell St facade of the Rowes building in Toowoomba's CBD will come alive during Carnival of Flowers week with a colourful animation feature projected onto its front walls.

Rowes owner John Rowe has been doing animatronics for 30 years and has developed some wonderful light shows projected onto the iconic building during the Christmas and Easter festivals.

For the past six weeks he has been working on a specially designed Carnival of Flowers themed animation which will be projected onto the Russell St facade of the building for 10 nights from the opening of the carnival on Friday, September 21, to the LIT Festival which will run throughout the following weekend.

"It's really my first love, I've been doing animatronics for 30 years," Mr Rowe said.

"It will be fun to show the people of Toowoomba what I do.

"Because it's carnival I knew we had to have lots and lots of flowers and there will be dancing gnomes... the kids love the characters."

Creating the animation was a complicated process with Mr Rowe gradually filling in the spaces on the building's facade on his computer at home, taking into account the building's features including its metal louvres.

The characters and colours blend in with the theme music.

While sworn to secrecy, Mr Rowe showed a snippet of the show to this reporter and photographer and both agreed it's very impressive and something the audience will love.

"It was a bit of a crazy experiment when we started doing this but the people seemed to like it," Mr Rowe said.

"It's good to see people coming to view it and become engaged with it.

"They watch it again and again.

"It's a huge thrill to see the kids and the families come to see it, it's exciting."

The best viewing spot to watch the animation will be across the road from Rowes on the footpath in front of the National Hotel.

- Peter Hardwick