Wauchope in full bloom for 38th Annual Lasiandra Festival

Updated: Mar 16

✦ 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.”