AS THE local Jacaranda trees peak in full bloom, it is a timely reminder that the Jacaranda Festival is over for another 12 months.
Described as a roaring success by festival manager Maggie Barnewell, the 2011 Jacaranda Festival - the 77th festival overall - has lived up to its outstanding reputation in delivering a plethora of smiles and laughter with an abundance of community spirit to the many locals and visitors who combined to make the carnival so successful.
"It is always sad to see another festival end, but to be able to look back and declare it a huge success, that makes it very rewarding for the Jacaranda committee," Maggie said.
"Crowd numbers were very pleasing and we had over 70 entrants in the float procession on Saturday - a significant increase from last year. The streets were lined with people and it's wonderful to see the festival has become so widely embraced."
Maggie said one of the highlights of the festival was the Venetian Carnival on Friday night which attracted 1500-2000 people who packed the hillside along Memorial Park and listened intently to the spectacular performance of special guest, piano-playing sensation Chooka Parker.
"During his time here, Chooka fell in love with Grafton and it was wonderful he could be a part of the festival this year," Maggie said.
"It was lovely to have had good weather on Friday so the Venetian Carnival could be held on the riverbank which is where it is traditionally performed and loved.
"The Jacaranda Queen crowning ceremony on October 29 was definitely another highlight of the festival and I think 2011 Jacaranda Queen Nikki Mackie will be an absolutely delightful ambassador for the Clarence Valley.
"The festival is a huge part of Grafton and the army of volunteers who dedicate their time to make it possible are the unsung heroes of the festival."
The Jacaranda Festival Committee is waiting for the arrival of a written report analysing the community feedback sought through a survey throughout the carnival.
Maggie said the results could determine if new events are added to the 2012 festival program.
Article by The Daily Examiner
Jacaranda Festival a big success