There is blooming good news for the Clarence Valley.
Following its unfortunate cancellation last year, the 2021 Grafton Jacaranda Festival will go ahead as a Covid-19 safe event and continue its 87-year tradition, while recognising some events are not possible due to the ongoing pandemic.
Festival Manager Mark Blackadder said the committee has been working hard to measure and gauge what would likely be possible to promote while the roadmap out of lockdown was still evolving.
“We’ve had to straddle the need to continue the Jacaranda Festival and provide arts and entertainment for the community, all while recognising some of the things we want to do just aren’t possible,” he said.
“I think what we’ve come up with achieves this and keeps the extremely important tradition of the event very much alive, including it taking place over 10 days.
“There are still a few tweaks to be made, but we’re very excited the program that will be released will essentially allow for what a normal Grafton Jacaranda Festival provides.”
Most of the events will be held at a specially designed major recreational outdoor facility in Market Square with the capacity to hold up to 2000 people, allowing for social distancing and the one person per four square metre rule.
The park will be fully fenced to provide designated entry points with QR code scanning and sanitiser stands to ensure the safety of attendees and the general public.
Other Covid-19-safe venues to be used for the ticketed festival events include the Saraton Theatre and See Park.
Coffs/Clarence Police District Chief Inspector Joanne Reid, said she was confident the plans put in place would provide for a safe and compliant festival.
“NSW Police have reviewed the festival’s event plan and the designation of Market Square as a major recreation facility within the definition of the Public Health Orders and support the event,” she said.
While the Float Procession and the River Run are the two main events not to be included, this year many favourites have been able to be kept and many new ones added.
The Grafton Jacaranda Festival is the oldest floral festival in Australia and its broad appeal has cemented it as a must-do calendar event.
Details on the program will be finalised in the coming week with updates available on the Jacaranda Festival website www.jacarandafestival.com.
The 2021 Grafton Jacaranda Festival will still take place from October 29 to November 7 with many of the regular highlights.