CLOWNING AROUND: Tickles and Sparkles the clown – Mali Matthews and Sue Hughes – at the Gate to Plate Festivale at Grafton Showground.
CLOWNING AROUND: Tickles and Sparkles the clown – Mali Matthews and Sue Hughes – at the Gate to Plate Festivale at Grafton Showground. Adam Hourigan

Councillor finds alter ego a real laugh

SUE Hughes would love to give up her day job and start a career as a clown after wowing kids and a few adults at Gate to Plate.

Ms Hughes could have gone to Sunday's Gate to Plate Festivale at Grafton Showground wearing her Gallery Foundation board member's hat or her Clarence Valley councillor's bonnet, but instead chose to be almost incognito in a clown's outfit.

"They asked me to MC the outdoor entertainment and dress up in 1950s theme but I asked if it would be okay to come dressed as a clown," Ms Hughes said.

As a disguise it was almost perfect.

"When they asked Sue Hughes to come to the microphone to represent council, I had to make an apology and say I had taken her place," she said.

Ms Hughes said her new persona had surprised her.

"It makes me want to give up my day job," she said. "I've never been so popular.

"I just wanted to have a few laughs and get close to the kids and it went off really well."

In her role as a Gallery Foundation board member, this year's Gate to Plate was an outstanding success, building on the success of the event in previous years.

"We had more than 60 stallholders yesterday and got a lot of people through the gate," she said.

"It's really positive that we can put on such a great family event.

"It's also great we can put something together that raises money for the gallery, which is a council asset."



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