Not all came in the purple
By JULIA ILES
THE magic of a ball is that it can transform everyday people into something spectacular.
And Saturday night's annual Jacaranda ball in Grafton was no exception.
The 300 attendees proved that style and sophistication are alive and well in the country.
"Everyone looked gorgeous in untraditional style dresses and in every colour you could name," Karen Crispin, a Grafton Jacaranda Festival Committee member said.
"I think there was even a rainbow dress there."
The highlight of the night for Ms Crispin was when the 2005 guest of honour Doug Barnier spoke.
"He has had such a long association with Jacaranda and this was the first year in 17 years he hasn't been a part of organising it. Everyone wanted to get their photo taken with him," she said.
It was also Mr Barnier's first engagement as the 2005 Jacaranda Festival Guest of Honour.
"The ball is always a special night. I enjoyed it so much and I am very proud of everyone who was involved," he said.
"The dresses looked so nice and even the young men were done up nicely."
During the proceedings at the Grafton District Services Club, candidates for Jacaranda Queen and Junior Princess categories were formally introduced.
Mr Barnier, along with Federal Member for Page Ian Causley, State Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell and Ray Bowling, the president of the committee, officially greeted them.
After the speeches, dinner was served which finished with a selection of desserts including apple strudel, chocolate bavarian and cheesecake.
"Empire, a cover band from Coffs Harbour, provided the musical entertainment, Mr Bowling said.
"Truly it was a great night and everything seemed to go off as it was organised to."
Clarence couple Michelle and Andrew were chosen as belle and beau of the ball.
"When we left the club at 11.30 the dance floor was still chocker-block," Ms Crispin said.