Stories

Crowning of the Grafton Clock Tower

Erected July 20, 1909 to commemorate the Jubilee of the Incorporation of the City of Grafton, the town’s Clock Tower stands as a symbol of civic pride and strength.

 

In 1953 it was decorated with flags and bunting as well as a huge crown for the street parade in celebration of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. 

 

Since then and carrying this tradition the Clock Tower is now ceremoniously decorated with a splendid crown of lights each year to mark exactly 30 days before the Jacaranda Festival begins.

Jacaranda Leis

A feature of Jacaranda Thursday is the wearing of colourful leis.

 

In the fifties and sixties young girls wore leis hand made out of crepe paper at Jacaranda Festival time. Even people’s pets and the swans in the fountain couldn’t escape the neck piece.

 

These days the leis are more likely to be made of plastic, but the tradition still continues strong.

Where did the Jacaranda trees come from?

The Jacaranda (sp Jacaranda Mimosifolia) is of South American origin, mainly Brazil. It grows well in sub-tropical regions and may grow to a height of 20 metres.

On 2nd July 1879, Grafton seed merchant Mr H. A. Volkers, was contracted to plant trees for the Grafton Council. 

 

During the 1880's he was instrumental in supplying and planting hundreds of Jacaranda trees in the streets of the town.

Jacaranda trees have flowers in maroon and white as well as the popular blue-mauve. Life expectation may be up to 200 years and the timber is a creamy to rich yellow pinkish colour and can be used for ornamental woodwork.

First Jacaranda Baby

A custom particular to the Grafton Jacaranda Festival is the naming of the Jacaranda Baby.

 

Each year the baby born closest to the time of the Jacaranda Queen crowning is bestowed the prestigious title.

 

Locals Cheryl Barnes and Kay Paine visit the lucky parents each year and present them with a gift.

 

If you’re a Jacaranda Baby we’d love to hear from you. Contact Us Here

Volkers Bar

Here's cheers to the Volkers Bar

In a nod to the city’s heritage, the aptly named Volkers Bar will be on hand and open to serve up a range of refreshing brews and beverages including the festival’s very own Her Majesty Larger and the Festival Punch Purple Lemonade.

 

If you’re wondering why Volkers, well we thought planting 100’s of Jacaranda Trees would be thirsty work. His legacy is now celebrated every year through the Grafton Jacaranda Festival, so let’s all raise a glass and say cheers to the man who started it all.

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Copyright 2019 Grafton Jacaranda Festival Inc.

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