Police and emergency services were kept busy when brawls broke out on Saturday night.
Police and emergency services were kept busy when brawls broke out on Saturday night.

Jacaranda Festival will go ahead

DESPITE what commercial news teams use to fill their evening update bulletins, the Jacaranda Festival is very much still on.

Social networking sites blew up on Sunday evening, with people concerned that Jacaranda Thursday would not be going ahead and the future of the Venetian Carnival was also questioned.

While Jacaranda Festival Committee president Monique Matthews is extraordinarily disappointed with the way certain members of the community conducted themselves on Saturday night, she has said she and Mayor Richie Williamson are working with Grafton Police to ensure a similar event does not occur later in the week.

"Everything is still well and truly on, however, this kind of behaviour will not be tolerated," she said. "It really just isn't fair to the rest of the community.

"As a festival we have hired security to patrol Market Square on Jacaranda Thursday, and to have a presence at the Venetian Carnival on top of liaising with police."

Grafton District Services Club general-manager Arthur Lysaught expressed his disappointment in the youths who overshadowed the Jacaranda Queen crowning with their antics.

"I have worked with and around alcohol service for many decades and never have I seen a display like that," he said.

"We have two things we really celebrate in this town, the July Racing Carnival and the Jacaranda Festival, and continuously they are both marred by people, and children, drinking too much and making a fool of themselves while ruining the occasion for the rest of the community."

Families still hoping to enjoy the festivities on Jacaranda Thursday and at Friday night's Venetian Carnival will see an increased police presence to help combat any unrest.



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