2020 Jacaranda Festival program revealed
FORWARD planning is something the Jacaranda Festival committee pride themselves on, often thinking about their next event before the purple banners have been taken down from the previous one.
So this year, despite being in the middle of the challenging climate of COVID-19, the preliminary 2020 program has been released online and events tentatively allocated to their timelines.
Festival Manager Mark Blackadder said with the uncertainty of what they could go ahead with this year nothing had been set in stone, but there have been some adjustments made in anticipation of the unknown, including centring all the main events around one place.
"Market Square will be the hub this year, for two reasons really," Mr Blackadder said.
These included the proposed redevelopment plans for Memorial Park, where they normally host the Riverlight Festival, and to cut back on costs.
"We don't know when they will go ahead with work on the park and the financial factor of having to set up extra stage production, electricity and lights at that park too."
Memorial Park has played host the Riverlight Festival (aka Venetian Carnival) for years but this year it will held in Market Square under its former banner given the river will be a notable absence on this occasion.
"A lot of people still refer to it as the Venetian Carnival so it won't be a problem."
Others changes in the preliminary program include a combined schools event at Market Square on the Tuesday and a Buskers Competition on the Wednesday and Thursday. "We didn't want to adding too many new things to the program this year."
Mr Blackadder said at this point in the planning the committee was not going to put anything in print until they get a better idea of what's ahead.
"We just want to see what stages four, five and six with the NSW Government restrictions will be. Obviously everything is still up in the air so we're just being sensible about how we move forward with this. We'll probably make the bigger decisions by the end of July but we also didn't want people to think we were going to give up. I think putting a preliminary program out there was important."
With that reassuring approach in mind, the festival manager said they would also soon be releasing the details of the four senior and four junior candidates who have signed up for the 2020 Jacaranda Queen competition. "We started our first fundraiser today (Friday) so we are ready to go in that respect."
He also assures festival-goers that their hit attraction from last year, the giant kewpie doll, will be back, looking just as big and bold as she did before her unfortunate encounter with a cigarette lighter.
"Yes the plan is, if the festival goes ahead as normal, we will have her reskirted and back on display in 2020."