Local News

Mark of appreciation for Festival Manager

Well known and admired throughout the Clarence Valley for his tremendous community work, Jacaranda Festival Manager Mark Blackadder has been recognised for his significant contributions at the Destination North Coast NSW Annual Awards.

Nominated by Clarence Valley Council (CVC), Mr Blackadder took home the Local Tourism Hero Award, a top honour which recognises strong work ethic and those in the industry who go above and beyond, lead from the front and always put themselves forward to support their team, peers and guests.

Describing himself as surprised and humbled by the announcement, Mr Blackadder said his focus is on delivering the best possible festival for the community.

“To be recognised for doing something I love is absolutely incredible,” he said.

“However, it wouldn’t be the success it is without all the wonderful people who help me every day, from the committee through to the queen candidates and volunteers.”

Mr Blackadder leads a massive team of dedicated and passionate people, and businesses that make the Grafton Jacaranda Festival a phenomenal success.

During the awards ceremony, he was acknowledged for having successfully grown and changed the face of the festival.

In his first year as Festival Manager, he produced the most successful Jacaranda Festival in many years and secured one of the highest achievements in sponsorship funding, which in turn supported the local business community of the Clarence Valley, particularly Grafton.

Mr Blackadder was also acknowledged for his ongoing dedication to the Jacaranda Festival throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and praised for his continuous support of the Clarence Valley community, talking to local businesses and gaining commitment through the Go Purple campaign to keep the festival alive during its forced cancellation in 2020.

He was also praised for taking the time to assess how to better market the Jacaranda Festival with a new online focus to draw both national and international visitors this year.

The 2021 Jacaranda Festival will run from October 29 until November 7.

For more information, please visit www.jacarandafestival.com