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Chris Gulaptis is pictured at Jaca HQ with Grafton Jacaranda Festival Manager, Mark Blackadder. Image: contributed.

Nationals deliver for valley festivals

The future of the Jacaranda Festival in Grafton and Casino Beef Week, as well as other smaller local events is looking brighter thanks to a series of grants allocated by the NSW Government, Clarence Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis has announced.

“As Casino Beef Week falls in May it was abandoned this year because of the coronavirus, but the NSW Government has agreed to carry forward triennial funding it received in 2018 to next year’s event. 

“This means they will still have $30,000 in the kitty to help market the event in 2021 which is terrific news,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“In its 86th year, the Jacaranda Festival has scored a hat trick with triennial funding of $30,000 guaranteed for the next three years to assist in the marketing of the event.

“With the easing of restrictions, plans are in full throttle for the event to take place in the coming spring, with a number of candidates putting their hands up to vie for the royal title of Jacaranda Queen.

Mr Gulaptis said smaller local events had not been forgotten.

“Ewingar Rising, which started as a bushfire benefit concert last year in the rural forest community, will happen again either this year or next with the support of a $10,000 grant from the Nationals in NSW Government,” Mr Gulaptis said.

“The 16th Glenreagh Timber Festival was due to take place later this month but has been postponed because of the pandemic. The Government will support it with $10,000 once the committee decides on a date.

“$10,000 has also been approved to support the wonderful Clarence 100 race down the mighty Clarence River.  In its sixth year, the three-day Copmanhurst to Yamba marathon paddle showcases 106km of pristine Clarence Valley biodiversity.”

Mr Gulaptis congratulated the volunteer committee members for all events saying there had never been a more important time to showcase the region to visitors and boost the morale of locals.

“Thousands of tourists flock to the Clarence and Richmond Valleys for these celebrations and that means more jobs for locals,” Mr Gulaptis concluded.

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