WEARING black and gold to the racecourse is almost essential for racegoers on Westlawn Cup Day, but it hasn't always been that way.
Westlawn Finance manager Helen Commerford, who has attended the Grafton racing carnival since she was 15, recalls how it started as a fashion parade.
"Now the black and gold theme has become a bit like a fancy dress party where nearly everyone dresses up," Ms Commerford said.
"Some people go to a lot of effort and the kids always look wonderful."
Westlawn Prelude Day is well known as a family-friendly day with lots of things for people of all ages, especially kids.
While dressing up is fun, there's also good reason to make an effort with some great prizes on offer.
Judging begins mid-afternoon for both adult and child categories, with every child who enters taking home a prize.
"Westlawn Day a great day for the locals.
"A lot of non-racing people go to have a social time and I just love seeing people enjoying themselves."
She said one of the highlights was having residents of aged care homes and disability groups come along and enjoy a picnic day.
"We put a couple of marquees up and they have prime position by the track ... they just love coming along.
"In a nutshell, I love Westlawn Day because it's the first day of the carnival and the beginning of a great week in Grafton.
"People may not realise how many visitors it attracts to the region - not just to Grafton but from Coffs to Yamba, a lot of visitors come to the area to take part - I know a family who has been coming here every year for 50 years."
Entry is free to the Westlawn Black and Gold Race Day with activities provided to entertain the kids by the Byron Bay KidzKlub.
However Westlawn will accept a gold coin donation on behalf of Grafton Palliative Care.
With each gold coin donated, you'll go into the draw to win two nights accommodation in a one bedroom spa suite for two adults, including full buffet breakfast in Charlie's Restaurant, courtesy of Novotel Coffs Harbour Pacific Bay Resort and Westlawn.
Jacaranda queen candidate Madeline McDonald will sell raffle tickets for the major Jacaranda festival fundraiser as well.
WESTLAWN RACE DAY
It's Westlawn's annual race day, so expect to see black and gold wherever you look.
By dressing up in black and gold, you'll not only look the part, you could win great prizes.
Judging starts mid-afternoon.
1st Prize - Vines @139 voucher; promotional pack; flowers courtesy of Annette's Flower World; wine.
2nd Prize - Flowers and voucher courtesy of Annette's Flower World; promotional pack; wine.
3rd Prize - Go Girlz voucher; promotional pack; flowers courtesy of Annette's Flower World; wine.
Spirit of Westlawn special prize.
Every child wins a prize: 0-5 years, 6-12 years, 13-17 years.
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