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Maclean High School Chess players prepare for the Community Chess Challenge during Saturday’s Clarence River Arts Festival at the Maclean High School. Maclean High School deputy principal Liza Hamilton and Lower Clarence Arts and Crafts Association [LCACA] – Festival Co-ordinator Di Nixon watch on as chess players Kai Thomsen, Barney Anderson, Ferlin Laurie, Cha-Umpa and Tom Everson prepare for the Community Challenge. Image: Lynne Mowbray.

This weekend’s Arts Festival Extravaganza

Lynne Mowbray |

This weekend’s Clarence River Arts Festival is set to be one of the biggest and best for all the family.

Maclean High School will host the popular festival this year, after a storm early in the year damaged pavilions at the Maclean Showground; where the festival is normally held.

The forced relocation of this year’s event has been seen as a win-win, by both the festival organisers and Maclean High School.

Deputy Principal of Maclean High School Liza Hamilton said that at the beginning of this year the school was approached by the Clarence River Arts Festival committee, to see if the school would be interested in hosting this year’s event.

“We had a think about it and one of our main strategic directions in our school plan is to engage with the community and be part of the community,” Ms Hamilton said.
“Our children all come to this school, so we were really happy to do it.
“I think what it does is, it promotes what we do in public education; the facilities we have, the staff we have and it showcases what we are doing in our curriculum with our local kids, because we have a lot of talent here as well as the local talent with our artists.
“So, it’s a really good partnership and I hope in the future it continues and it’s very well supported by our new principal Greg Court,” she said.
With the combined talent of Maclean High students and arts and crafts exhibitors, there will be plenty to see and do at this year’s festival.
“People can expect to see drama performances; there will be a Community Chess Challenge, busking and musicians and the art staff will be doing face painting for the little kids; so we’ve got quite a bit happening,” Ms Hamilton said.
“There will be plenty of food; we’ve got our P & C who will be in our canteen, there will be a BBQ running and a pancake stand, a coffee cart and Devonshire teas as well,” she said.

Lower Clarence Arts and Crafts Association [LCACA] Festival Co-ordinator Di Nixon said that she was thrilled to be combining this year’s festival with Maclean High School.

“The school has gone all out to enthusiastically support this year’s festival,” Ms Nixon said.
“They have a really great chess team, which are running a community challenge and the performing arts department will be performing five minute drama segments, in 15 minute intervals, which is a wonderful addition to this year’s festival.
“This year’s festival has seen an increase in entries (from previous years) in several sections, with artists from outside the Clarence Valley, exhibiting.
“There will be several demonstrations in jewellery making, spinning and patchwork, and woodworking techniques along with market stalls and trading tables.
“We are looking forward to a wonderful extravaganza, this weekend,” she said.