Dance school floats in for parade win
THE Ashley Alberts Performing Arts float was an impressive vision of pink, black and white and the judges thought so too.
The Clarence Valley dance school was announced overall winner of the Jacaranda Festival Float Parade at the follow-on event Picnic in the Park on Saturday night.
Balloons and cut-outs of silhouetted ballerinas covered the freely-donated Daniel and Sons truck, while about 40 young dancers braved the afternoon heat to belt out their best moves to energetic songs like Taylor Swift's Shake it Off and All about the Bass.
Mrs Alberts said the kids had a ball, and were kept hydrated with a big bucket full of icy-cold drinks.
"This is our very first float so it was very exciting and unexpected to win," she said.
"We just wanted to have fun and it was amazing.
"We'll definitely be back next year. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun."
First-time Jacaranda Festival spectator Rebecca Palminha and her family will also be back next year, if her daughters have anything to say about it.
The family of four drove up from Sydney on Friday specifically to experience the festival they'd heard and seen so much about from relatives in Grafton.
As well as the float parade, they stuck around for the Picnic it the Park entertainment at Market Square and were back the next day to experience Retrofest.
"It was fantastic, the best night we've had in a long time," Mrs Palminha said.
"We really loved the floats and the feeling the Grafton community has up here, everyone has been so friendly and welcoming.
"It was well worth coming up for. My kids are already telling me they want to come back up next year."