Peter Garrette (Scott Lenton) will front the Castrol Oils Ain’t Oils Band during the Clarence Valley Council’s Hey Hey It’s Jacaranda Thursday Purple Faces performances from 8.15am today in front of the Civic Centre.
Peter Garrette (Scott Lenton) will front the Castrol Oils Ain’t Oils Band during the Clarence Valley Council’s Hey Hey It’s Jacaranda Thursday Purple Faces performances from 8.15am today in front of the Civic Centre. Adam Hourigan

Get into Jacaranda Thursday

TODAY is Jacaranda Thursday – the purple-hazy eye of the Jacaranda Festival storm.

Grafton’s CBD will spring to life this morning as residents and visitors alike wander through town experiencing the wide array of planned events.

One of the signature aspects of Jaca Thursday is the weird, wacky and wonderful displays put on by staff of local businesses, who don outfits and masks and decorate their shops, transforming parts the CBD into a strange, colourful spectacle as part of the Festive Shop and Staff Competition.

Yesterday, Jacaranda Festival committee members and co-ordinators of the competition, Joy Zietsch and Shirley Tees, were hard at work going through entry forms and shining-up the trophies awarded to some of the winners.

“It’s a very special day for Grafton and Shirley and I have been working very hard on it,” Ms Zietsch said.

Ms Zietsch said this year’s competition had attracted an impressive number of entries and an interesting mix of themes including Bollywood, Colonial Australia, Under the Sea and Wizard of Oz, to name just a few.

Entrants compete in a number of categories depending on their staff size, property type and so on, with trophies and pennants awarded to the winners depending on the sections they enter.

Ms Tees said a highlight of the competition was the noon performances in Market Square of some of the entrants brave enough to take the stage in front of the Jacaranda Thursday crowds. It is there the coveted Gold Cup is decided.

Competition preparations aside, both women said they were looking forward to today and the rest of the festival.

“Everybody seems to be in a really good frame of mind, everybody seems to be happy,” Ms Zietsch said.

“I think it’s going to be a very happy day for Grafton.”

Festival co-ordinator Libby Power said there would be a lot more on offer across the town today.

“The 2GF free breakfast is happening from 6am, there will be cooking demonstrations, an edible garden and there is also the talent quest from 10am,” Ms Power said.

“Also, the Twine will be performing below the clock tower at the roundabout there in Pound Street and there will also be busking in the main street during the day.

“I’m sure there will be a sea of faces, lots of purple and I’m anticipating a really fun day.”

Adding to these celebrations will be a host of exhibitions and displays open to the public, including the Jacaranda Embroidery Group’s Exhibition on needlework, Grafton Art Club’s annual Jacaranda Exhibition at the Community Centre and the Jacaranda Exhibition Gardens. For a full schedule of Jacaranda events for today and the rest of the festival, visit jacarandafestival.org.au or pick up an official program for $2 from Grafton newsagents.

Jaca Thursday Schedule

 6am: 2GF free breakfast at Market Square.

 10am: Jacaranda Talent Quest, Market Square.

 Noon: performances and judging of Festive Shop and Staff Competition, Market Square.

Some performances to see

 Clarence Valley Council – Hey Hey, it’s Jacaranda Thursday

 Westlawn Finance – Westlawn’s Got Talent

Many more shops will also dress up and perform at various times today in Prince Street.



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