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  • Crispin Till

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    City transforms for 10 action packed days of creative fun

    Get set Cairns, the city will be transformed into a colourful, vibrant, artistic and musical wonderland in the next 10 days as the 2017 Cairns Festival program kicks into gear.

    Starting tomorrow with events including the Busk at Dusk World Record attempt, a Friday night Festival Concert and City Lights projection display at the library in Abbott St, it is a great time to get out and enjoy the city.

    The exciting and jam-packed program of events offers something for everyone with Councillor Linda Cooper saying the opening weekend was always popular and  massive crowds were expected on the Esplanade for Saturday night’s parade.

    “The parade is not to be missed and is always a highlight of the opening weekend," she said.

    “There are 85 floats this year. We have been at that mark for a while but it is a huge increase on the numbers we had a few years ago.

    “We are really, really happy with the community response.”

    Council has worked closely with community and art groups in recent years to ensure the festival program is built for the people of Cairns as an opportunity to showcase local talents and so events are as interactive as possible. And this approach has been successful and seen the festival program grow and grow.

    “You literally can’t physically get to all the events on the program,” she said.

    “That just reinforces how much great content there is in the program.

    “The community takes ownership of the program. We have seen community and creative groups getting in touch with council early, to workshop and plan and put a lot of thought and creativity into the program.”


    With so much to see and do, Cr Cooper said the spectacular Busk at Dusk world record attempt, KickArts’ 25-year celebrations, steel band championships and the library lights installation were some of the things people “should stick on their lists” as must-see events.

    The theme for this year’s Festival is “Shine” and that is exactly what the weather is expected to do on the opening weekend and across the 10 days, with fine and mostly fine days forecast in the days ahead with top temperatures around the 28C mark.

    “With the weather the way it is, why wouldn’t you get out to see the colour, activity and music happening across the festival,” she said.

    “It’s the perfect opportunity to get out there and explore and to see how creative Cairns is.”

    The Festival runs until September 3, for more information and to see the full program for 2017, click here.