Thousands go Venetian
By JULIA ILES
A RICH serve of talent was on the menu at yesterday night's Venetian Carnival in Grafton.
And as the sun sank over the riverside stage, sweet voices, toe-tapping jive and the sound of applause echoed in the dusk.
Around 2000 people packed out the area below Memorial Park, contented by baked potatoes and fairy floss.
From bands to rock and roll dancing, breakdancing to ballet, everything was on show.
Twelve-year-old Dylan Cartledge was a crowd favourite with his stirring spoken word about the struggles he has faced due to his premature birth.
Studio One and Nicole Shipman Academy showcased complex dance routines and original choreography.
"Everyone is having such a happy time here and it is just such a wonderful night," Roy Bowling, fesitval committee president and town crier said.
"Just to see the array of talent we have here in the Valley, makes me think tonight will be remembered in years to come."
The hard work paid off, according to Gail McBay, who has spent 10 weeks preparing for the Venetian Carnival.
"It was well worth it and wonderful to see the talent that is out there. It's just fantastic although it was a lot of was work, organising the logistics," she said.
A highlight for her was watching one of her former music students perform a song on stage.
As the fireworks broke over the water sheer delight was to be found on the faces of children and those who were young at heart.
And although the show came to an end around 8.30 Jacaranda continues today with the TAFE College Market day. nFrom page one
ORGANISERS promise it will be bigger and better than other years.
Hundreds of stalls will be there with goods as diverse as ceramic plates to apricot balls.
Other events on today include the grand float procession which will assemble at 3.30 on the corner of Arthur and Prince streets, then at 5pm will proceed down Prince Street.
When the procession has concluded there will be Scottish-style entertainment with a mass of pipe bands and Scottish country and highland dancers.
"After the procession we are having a family dancing day at Market Square which will be great," organiser Karen Crispin said.
"Although I am sure some people will be rushing off to the Australian Bull Riding Championships," which will be held at the Grafton Showground.
On Sunday the Jacaranda Beautiful Baby Competition will be held at Market square, nominations start at 8.30am while the judging starts at 9.30.
"This is the second year I have helped organise the competition and it's such a nice time, there are four sections with the winner getting a trophy and a cape like the Jacaranda Queen," Debby Cox said.
Another event is the Excellence in Schools and Quilt display from 10 to 5 pm at the South Grafton ex-servicemans club.
"There are over 500 projects on display from schools from Coffs Harbour to Casino," Chris Timmins, a Grafton High teacher said.
"The school's work is just outstanding and award winning."
Ms Timmins has helped her class make quilts which have won prizes at craft shows.