From our Border Post column by President Greg Thouard:
Flags and Floats
For 2016 the festival committee hopes the Channel 7 Grand Parade will be full of wonderful floats, lots of colour, flags galore, bands aplenty and the streets turn into a true carnival area. To bring about this colour the grand parade will become a Parade of Flags where every walker and every vehicle will be required to show a flag.
Flag-making workshops are planned and groups are applying for grants to show how colourful festival flags can be made. I understand some schools are interested and the festival committee will be promoting the parade of flags across the whole region for people to bring as many flags into the parade as they possibly can. What I would like to see is all of our international visitors here for work bring their country flag and enter the parade. This will add a great multicultural flavour to the festival and I hope the community can help get the message to these workers to join in the carnival by carrying their country flag.
Floats make the grand parade. A most memorable part of earlier festivals was the marvellous floats that were prepared by community clubs, sporting organisations and businesses. The best by far were the floats prepared by Western Transport under the eye of festival stalwart, the late Ted Reeves. These floats were so grand that they were sought after by other festivals and the Apple & Grape Harvest Festival received wonderful recognition wherever these floats travelled.
I know it is much more costly and difficult these days to build floats of such grandeur as those of the past but many have tried and succeeded, the Stanthorpe Scouts being one. A huge effort and a lot of planning went into their floats and with 9 months remaining until the 2016 festival I am encouraging all community groups and businesses to start planning for their entry. Some fairly simple conditions of entry apply and for anybody planning for their float will need a copy of the rules and they can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for an information. While there are some very strict safety rules associated with entering a float for the Grand Parade, there is so much fun to be had from working together and creating a great themed float, The main rule is to have fun and build a float that is no more than 20 metres in length, no more than 4 metres high and have a maximum width of 3 metres. The theme for 2016 is “When in Rome….” and the colour is gold to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our amazing festival.