Jacaranda Jill during the 2019 Jacaranda Festival.
Jacaranda Jill during the 2019 Jacaranda Festival.

Jacaranda Festival celebrates 20-year milestone

JACARANDA Festival organisers celebrated a major milestone today for a very special lady.

“Today marks 20 years since Jacaranda Jill made her grand entrance at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with 11 other kewpie dolls,” festival manager Mark Blackadder posted.

Now, two decades on, Jacaranda Jill has found a permanent home in the Clarence Valley as the symbol of a revitalised Jacaranda Festival. But with COVID-19 shutting down this year’s event, organisers are giving her a well-earned makeover.

“After 20 years it’s safe to say she’s been knocked around a bit so we’re going to repaint her and bring her back to life,” Mr Blackadder said.

“In 2021, she’ll be the belle of the festival complete with a new costume. We’ve got a designer in London who’s working on her restoration plans, such as the hoop skirt.”

Mr Blackadder said there were always plans to rejuvenate Jaca Jill and make her purple, however, when her dress was set alight by vandals at last year’s event, the resulting damage has significantly increased restoration expenses.

“The top part of her wasn’t damaged thankfully, but the framework damage is quite extensive.”

What Jacaranda Jill will look like after her makeover.
What Jacaranda Jill will look like after her makeover.

In the meantime, Michelle Vidler and Judy Hackett have volunteered to make the new skirt, which Mr Blackadder said would be an impressive feat.

“It’s going to be three layers of fabric along with massive sequins and wide ribbon,” he said.

“She’s going to look amazing when it’s all finished.”

Anyone wishing to help fund Jacaranda Jill’s restoration can donate to their GoFundMe page.



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