Jacaranda Festival float crowd the biggest for many years

JACARANDA festival veteran and former town crier Roy Bowling told a Daily Examiner staffer on Saturday that he hadn't seen a bigger crowd attend the Jacaranda Float Procession since the 1950s.

He'd get no argument from many who viewed the parade from the majestic balcony of the former Weiley's Hotel who witnessed crowds to the north on Prince St as far as the eye could see.

The event signified the tail end of the 78th Jacaranda Festival, an edition that will go down as a resounding success in a tough year for Grafton.

As tourists and TV crews beamed images of the festival across the region and the globe, locals did what they do best at Jaca- randa time - have fun.

Public participation is assumed and expected in Australia's long- est running floral festi- val which simultaneously pays homage to tradition with events such as the queen crowning and the float procession and cautiously welcomes new ideas such as push carting and Picnic in the Park events.

There were 48 official Jacaranda events or activities over two weeks this year, with several offshoots taking advantage of the crowds including the new Grafton Show and Shine and the long-running rodeo.

JACARANDA FLOAT PROCESSION

The Winners

Overall Best Float (Bunnings Trophy)- Azure Faerie Productions & Belly Dancers

Decorated Floral Float - Studio 1 Academy of Dance

Most Comical Or Novel Float - Red Hat Ladies

Float By Charitable Organisation - Westpac Life Saver Rescue

Float By Sporting Body - Clarence Valley Derby League

Commercial Entry - Azure Faerie Productions & Belly Dancers

Pre Schools, Kindergartens, Child Care Centres - St Mary's Primary

Decorated Bicycle - Grafton Jungle Gym

Best Presented Band - Armidale Pipe Band

Vintage, Veteran and Classic Motor Vehicles - Historic Speedway Association Australia



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