Latest News

Jacaranda flies the flag at Chamber breakfast

The Grafton Chamber of Commerce held its monthly breakfast meeting at the Clocktower Hotel on Wednesday last week. Grafton Chamber president Katie Kelemec introduced special guest speakers from this year’s Jacaranda Festival: Jacaranda Queen Candidates Alana Gordon and Emily Wall, 2017 Matron of Honour Patricia Hewitt, Festival Coordinator Donna Hunt and Vice President Jeff Smith. Both of the Queen Candidates spoke briefly about their upcoming fundraising events, their love for Grafton and why they wanted to be a part of this year’s festival. Patricia Hewitt thanked the businesses in town for their support and for getting behind the Jacaranda Festival. Grafton’s iScream business owner Jeff Smith said that his best two months of the year for business, are July and October. “In July we have the July Racing Carnival and in October we have the Jacaranda Festival,” Mr Smith said. “Festivals bring a lot of money to town.” Mr Smith went on to say that a couple of years ago the Jacaranda Festival was struggling from volunteer burn out. He outlined several changes which have been implemented since then which included changing the length of the festival from a 16 day event, back to nine days, which was successfully trialled last year. Mr Smith challenged other business owners as to how they could become more involved in the Jacaranda Festival. “How can you benefit from the 1000’s of people/visitors in town,” Mr Smith asked. “Last year I made purple ice-cream,” he said. Mr Smith encouraged businesses especially in Prince Street to consider opening during the street parade and capitalise on it. Grafton Chamber of Commerce executive member Phil Belletty suggested that during the festival if you see someone taking photos of the jacaranda trees, go up and have a chat to them and find out where they are from and make them feel welcome. “Put your best and happiest faces out the front of your business,” Mr Belletty said. “[Maybe], if you have an unhappy person out the front, send them out the back to do a stock take or something.”