POPULAR: A tourist gets her photo taken on Michael Hill's 1978 Nissan Patrol G60 Ute.
POPULAR: A tourist gets her photo taken on Michael Hill's 1978 Nissan Patrol G60 Ute. Erin Brady/CVC

Festival numbers highest in a decade

THERE were more people in Grafton for this year's Jacaranda Festival than for any in the past decade.

Festival manager Leah Wallace said this was proof the hard work the festival organisers, Clarence Valley Council and Destination NSW were putting into marketing the festival was paying off.

"Not only are locals getting back into the festival, but we've seen an increase in tourism across the board - not just internationally but Newcastle, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, a massive increase in national tourists,” she said.

"The council said it was the highest occupancy that hotels have seen in that three-week period they call the jacaranda season in three years.

"This is wonderful for us because people are either experiencing the festival or coming to see the trees and are making plans to return another year to experience it.”

Mrs Wallace said the council had been a great support this year, especially looking after the international and national media who came to the event.

"A big thanks to Lou (Gumb) and her team at council and Destination NSW for making that happen,” she said.

"Better Homes and Gardens was amazing, I've been speaking with the producers there and it will air as a two-part series just before the festival next year.”

Each year, the festival organisers try to build on the previous year, taking into account feedback from the community and tourists.

Mrs Wallace said this year they built on the River Feast, bringing in more food trucks and having people pay a gold coin donation to get in.

"It was a bit of a learning experience last year,” she said.

"We had three savoury vendors in 2017 and the rest were dessert and our savoury sold out before 8pm. We had 20 vendors this year - it may have been too much for the park but it's good to see what works.

"The community seemed happy to make a gold coin entry. Even the gold coin didn't cover the event, but it did alleviate the costs.”

She said next year they may fund the River Feast for longer, focusing more on food in the Clarence Valley.

Festival volunteers needed


Someone with creative writing skills.

Two hours per month to produce a newsletter for the Jacaranda Festival.

You will be provided with all basic information, photos and dates, you just need a flair for creative writing to put it into a newsletter.

Retro Fest Team Leader

If you love anything vintage, anything pin-up, vintage cars, rock music, the office has an event brief for you to work with.

The event is an opportunity to put a little flair on the Jacaranda Festival and run with new and exciting ideas.

Purple Army volunteers

The Purple Army help with the day-to-day running of the festival, helping move rubbish bins, chairs, set up and clean up.

The festival office is happy to offer certificates of appreciation or reference letters to help with resumes.

Children's Morning team leader

This encapsulates the Junior Jacaranda Party attendance, and the baby competition as well.

The festival are looking for someone who loves children, has great organisational skills and knows what children want.

Contact the Jacaranda Festival office on jacaranda- fest@bigpond.com to apply.

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