Updated: Mar 16, 2022
✦ A fun event for all that is what it is thanks to community participation.
Wauchope has been a sea of purple once again this March as residents, visitors to the town and business houses celebrated the annual Lasiandra Festival.
The festival celebrates the town’s floral emblem the Lasiandra and has been held each March for the past 38 years. To keep the festival going for such a length of time is a credit to the organising committee, business houses for their continued support and the community as a whole for their involvement.
Running from Friday, March 4, to Saturday, March 12, the two week event featured plenty of fun things to see and do – including the colourful Lasiandra Bike Night held in the grounds of Oxley Tyres, Bransdon Street on Friday March 4, and another successful Purple People Shopping and Market Day which took place on Thursday March 10.
Chrissy Jones, secretary of the festival committee, says “both the bike night and the shopping day which incorporated markets in the CBD, were a great success. Both are fantastic community events, and gives everyone something to look forward to in such trying times – not just locals, but people visiting the area from out of town too. “
She told us that it is most encouraging to see new business to the town jumping on board and being involved in Purple People Day, dressing up their staff and decorating their premises. A highlight for the Lasiandra Committee is the continued involvement from the local childcare centre’s. All centre’s across the town participated and The Mad Hatter House even took their children on an excursion down the Main Street of town much to the delight of the children.
Chrissy said, “ The involvement by the Preschools is fantastic. They are teaching the children from a young age just what community spirit is. To go to the schools and see what the children have been learning about the festival and the town is wonderful. They paint, do craft, eat purple food, have play time based on the festival for an entire week at least, the teachers are to be commended. I can’t thank them enough.”
The watermelon fundraiser for the Lismore flood victims was an outstanding success. Over $2000 was raised thanks to Coffee on High. It was a novel idea, pick your watermelon, name your price. Some generous Purple People Day shoppers donated $50 and up!
Comments from some of the Purple People Day enthusiasts:
Al’s Bakehouse – “ It’s just such a fun day to be involved in a community event. We got into the spirit of the day by making purple cupcakes, purple finger buns, Chelsea buns, apple tea cakes and vanilla slices, all with purple icing. We decorated the shop with streamers and balloons and flowers. And of course the staff dressed up, it’s a fun day and we love to be involved”
TG’s High Street – “ We have been doing paintings, glitter and purple and activities at TG’S High Street centre all week. The children love the purple glitter paint, everything involved with the colourful festival and flowers. The children have been making flowers all morning and blowing up balloons ready for today. We absolutely love the festival and being involved. A great community event that the children love to be involved in”
TG’s Childcare Hastings Street – “ This year we planned our Lasiandra theme around the flower. The children have been making, drawing, painting their own representation of the flower. As you can see, our entire centre is decorated. Helen our chef has made purple scones for afternoon tea. Each room has their own wall with a Lasiandra tree, decorated with the flowers the children have made. D All our educators have enjoyed getting dressed up they are really enthusiastic about the festival. Purple People Day is our favourite day of the year.”
TG’s Childcare Riverbreeze – From Kate, ”So to prepare for this years festival, it is something we look forward to each year, we sent home personal sheets with every child to bring back, telling us what they love about your home and their favourite place to play and what they do as a family activity. We created a lot of artwork and have decorated the whole centre, pink and purple. We have spoken at group times about what we love about the Lasiandra Festival and our town of Wauchope.”
We love Lasiandra Festival!, says the children and Educators at TG's Child Care Riverbreeze
Wauchope Newsagency – Cheryl told us, “ We painted a Lasiandra tree across our window front to create a wish tree. Out the front of our store we have had a table, in place all week, where we have had Lasiandra flower paper cut outs for people to add their wishes or statement to our tree.” We asked her what her wish was? “Just to be happy. Yeah, that's important.”
The Village Preschool - From Amy, “ We've been celebrating Wauchope and the Lasiandra festival for the last few weeks at the Village Preschool. The children have been making Lasiandra out of paper mache. During craft, we've had, and are still having, lots of purple activities and resources that they've been doing.” Something unique that the centre did was order some Lasiandra seeds for the children to grow the tree. Amy said, “We've been learning about how the Lasiandra trees grow. The children have planted their own seed that we're hoping to cultivate over the year, and they can take home and plant in their own garden. We have also had lots of sensory experiences, and especially with our older children, speaking about what we love about Wauchope and what the Lasiandra Festival means and is celebrating. We love joining in at this special time for our town.”
Bugden & Partners - Paul told us, “We always get involved in the Lasiandra Festival in some way. It’s a great community event. All the organisers that get together, get the town going, all the market stalls, and if you get involved you have bit of fun. It’s a good community thing to do, especially because the past couple of years we've all had to deal with COVID, the fires, the floods. To see people's happy faces when they are looking at your decorations puts a smile on your face, it is a great feeling.”
Golf, Bowls, Park-run, Mini-rail Fun Day
A couple of events have been postponed due to unfavourable weather on the day, the Ladies Bowls and Golf, but will be held later in the month.
One event that means a lot to the Lasiandra Committee is the Jack Dwyer Memorial Twilight Triples. Held at the Wauchope Country Club by the Men Bowlers, this annual event was won by Mikle Simpson, Rick Simpson and Karen Simpson. Jack Dwyer was one of the original founders of the Lasiandra Festival and an avid lawn bowler.
The Purple Park Run held early on Saturday morning, 12th March was well patronised. Lots of runners, walkers, and four legged friends donned their purple and had a fun event on the Hastings River foreshore.
Yippen Creek Mini-rail enthusiasts hosted their event in conjunction with the Lasiandra Festival later that morning. Families from near and far turned up in droves. Many delighted children rode the trains, as well as Mums, Dads and Grandparents.
Purple Rain Art Exhibition Award Ceremony, Saturday March 12
The Lasiandra Festival does a great job of instilling community spirit among locals and visitors to the town. This was evident at the newest event on the festival calendar, the Purple Rain Art Exhibition organised by the creatives at Wauchope Creative Hub.
The gallery was adorned with an array of amazing artworks submitted by the entrants. Artworks in many mediums from paintings to hand felting to jewellery. It was a very hard task for the judges, Tim Walker from Hastings Co-operative (the main exhibition sponsor) and Lisa McPherson from Wauchope Chamber to ponder over.
After considerable deliberation, a decision was made and the winner and highly commended decided.
Congratulations to Alycia Lipovac @artbyalycialipovac. Alycia’s painting full of colour and energy was an unanimous decision from the judges.
Highly commended was awarded to Gretchen Martin with her self portrait and Diane King with her artwork “Purple Passion.”
Stu Doherty, representing Wauchope Creative Hub, extends his thanks to the Exhibition entrants and sponsors, Hastings Co-operative, Brilliant-online and the Wauchope Lasiandra Festival Committee.
Wauchope Creative Hub was proud to hold the inaugural Purple Rain art exhibition as part of the Wauchope Lasiandra Festival. Stu said, “ The entries were of such a high quality and we were so pleased to have so many of our local artists in attendance on Saturday at our prize ceremony.
Congratulations goes to Alicia Lipovac our overall prize winner, a fantastic young emerging artist who showed such vibrant coloring energy in her portrait. We also awarded some highly commended who were so varied and rich in their talent.”
The first place winner took home a generous hamper from Hastings Co-op and the highly commended also received beautiful engraved glasses in commemoration of the Wauchope Lasiandra Festival
The exhibition continues until March 31, so you still have plenty of time to call into Wauchope Creative Hub and have a look for yourself.
Wauchope Lasiandra Festival
Ph. 0412 137 621
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