Grafton's Jacaranda Festival
The world-renowned Jacaranda Festival is held annually in Grafton, Northern Rivers New South Wales, from the last weekend in October to the first weekend in November.
Inaugurated in 1934, this was the first of Australia's folk festivals and celebrates the magnificent spectacle of the hundreds of lilac-blossomed trees that grow in Grafton's broad tree lined avenues. Henry Volkers introduced the first Jacaranda trees to Grafton and each year the trees are celebrated, although it has changed over the years to adapt to today’s society, this traditional event is still widely celebrated within the town.
The oldest floral festival still celebrated in Australia, was first appreciated in a much different way. It was one of the few means of entertainment to look forward to. So when Jacaranda time rolled around, the town was in high spirits. Even during the difficult times of WWII, this festival had a way of uplifting the community and giving them something wonderful to celebrate. A half-day public holiday is observed locally on the first Thursday of the latter month, the Festival's focal day.