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Celebrating Grafton’s Jacaranda Festival

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In 2012, the Jacaranda Festival will take place between October 19 and November 4, and will be the 78th consecutive running of what is one of Australia’s best flower festivals.

The festival is described by the organisers as being “thanksgiving for the generosity with which nature blesses this part of the globe.”

The Jacaranda, the festival’s namesake is a huge, beautiful tree with purple coloured blooms, which line the streets of Grafton. Given the sunny summer followed by good rains and the recent cold snap it is highly likely the bevi deciduous Jacaranda trees will produce an arrange of vivid colours. Basically the sugars generated by good growing conditions put extra pigments into the cells and the more sugars produced and the colder it is, the more pigements produced. So as you drive into Grafton you will see the wonderful crisp greens of the natives along the river and open pastures, then you come into the town, where there are the contrasting colours which are fantastic. The Jacarandas were planted in Grafton during the 1880s and are now a definite highlight of the area.

Some of the main events of the Jacaranda Festival are as follows:

The Jacaranda Ball: Whether you are an arborist looking for a tree-loving mate, or just want to get dressed up and have a dance, the Jacaranda Ball provides the perfect start to a fantastic two-week festival, and is a must if you are in town for this event.

Jacaranda Queen Crowning Ceremony: A huge highlight of the festival for the locals, you don’t want to miss the crowning of the Jacaranda Queen, as she is sure to be the loveliest lady in Grafton.

Jacaranda Cycle Criterium: For the more active types, the Criterium provides the cyclists in your group with an opportunity to get out there and show their race speed. This is one of the more high-energy events of the week.

Jacaranda Day: Starting with a free breakfast in Market Square, and fast becoming a sea of purple people, Jacaranda Day is one of the highlights of the festival and the perfect opportunity to get involved in a little Jacaranda-mania.

Venetian Festival: If fireworks get you going, the Venetian Festival will be just your thing, as this awesome all-ages event starts with fantastic singing and dancing performances and ends with the region’s most impressive pyrotechnic display.

Jacaranda Float Procession: Pretty much everyone in Grafton takes their place in this awesome parade, and the floats are always colourful, fabulous and entertaining. Almost every business in town is at least part sponsor in a float, and this early evening parade always draws a big crowd.

Jacaranda Festival Fun Run: Run over 2km, 5km and 10km distances, the Jacaranda Fun Run never fails to draw out the athletic talent from Grafton and beyond.

Jacaranda Beautiful Baby Competition: This is a laid-back beauty competition for babies aged between 0 and 36 months, and provides the perfect way to end the two-week festival.

If you have never been to Grafton before, there is no better time to  go than during the Jacaranda Festival. Known more for its live music scene, the Jacaranda Festival does a fantastic job of showcasing some of the lesser know attributes of the region, and most people who come for the Jacaranda Festival find themselves coming back to Grafton again in the future. Whether you are a lover of Jacarandas, a tree doctor or just someone who likes the idea of community festivals, the Jacaranda Festival in Grafton is guaranteed to be the best time you’ve had in a very long time.

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