Although Friday sees the official opening to the 2015 Jacaranda Festival with the Jacaranda Ball, events are well and truly underway. Last weekend, hundreds of colourfully dressed children danced and partied in Grafton’s Market Square during the annual Beautiful Baby competition and Jacaranda Children’s Party. One of the highlights of the festival is the crowning of the Jacaranda Queen and this year there are four candidates vying for the prestigious award; Kirsten Knox, Kahlia Payne, Charlotte White and Leah Wallace. Making sure the candidates Jacaranda journeys are both enjoyable and memorable is this year’s Matron of Honour Debbie Bowling. The 2015 Jacaranda Festival Guest of Honour is Stella Wilson who was born in the year the first Jacaranda Festival was held and has been attending the festival since she was in kindergarten. Stella was crowned Jacaranda Festival Queen in 1955. Business houses lift the beat for the notorious and zany Jacaranda Thursday on November 5 with mayhem and madcap street theatre throughout the morning. There is plenty of live entertainment provided for the afternoon’s activities in Market Square. Other events include the Venetian Carnival which is held along the riverbank in Memorial Park. Along with loads of live performances the carnival culminates in a spectacular fireworks display. The huge TAFE markets are held the morning of Jacaranda Saturday with the Grand Parade commencing at 5pm, followed by the Picnic in the Park and a family concert in Market Square. Make sure you get along and support the wonderful Jacaranda Festival which is a celebration that everyone in the Clarence Valley can be truly proud of.