Going bananas for fiesta
DECORATED shops, street parades, festival queens and giant walking fruit - Murwillumbah is going bananas.
All the colour, fun, bananas and crepe paper return this year for the 63rd annual Tweed Valley Banana Festival after last year's scaled-down version.
Banana Festival co-ordinator Carol Mudge said preparations were well under way for the re-energised festival, which would be full of all the old traditions and nostalgia that had endeared the event to residents and visitors alike.
The festival came close to disappearing last year and in the end was a trimmed-down version, however Ms Mudge said this year would be different, with the Friday night street carnival and much-loved Saturday street parade returning.
"The festival is all about love of our town,” she said.
"It's old-fashioned and quirky - these aren't dirty words to us. Our theme this year is 'Our Town is Bananas'. We are all a little bananas here, we go with it, we don't mind because we enjoy it and embrace it.”
The festival is embracing all those favourite traditions, officially launching with the traditional gala dinner at Murwillumbah Memorial Service Club this past Saturday night, the Thanks Giving Church Service at All Saints Anglican Church on the Sunday followed by the official judging for the Queen, Teen Queen and Prince and Princes.
The Friday night street carnival will return to the Main St after six years in Knox Park, with the street closed between Brisbane St and the clock tower to make way for a band, food trucks and market stalls.
"The Austral will be serving traditional banana fritters and businesses will be open for late night shopping,” Ms Mudge said.
"It will all have a lovely, family-orientated feel - lots of the nostalgic things that we all remember.”
The festival will culminate with the street parade from noon on Saturday, August 25, leaving Knox Park led by mounted police. The colourful mix of crepe paper and ingenuity will then head down Nullum St and around into Main St before finishing at the showground.
"There will be free rides from midday followed by a performance by Jake and the Cadillacs between 1.30pm and 3pm,” Ms Mudge said.