Fun cultural mix at Cairns Festival parade
IT'S something only Cairns does best.
Far from the hype of Sydney’s Mardi Gras or Melbourne’s Moomba Festival, Cairns celebrated its own culture in style over the weekend, with a street parade of grand proportions.
Thousands of locals and tourists alike packed the Cairns Esplanade on Saturday night, as the Overflow FNQ Grand Parade kicked off in style.
Organisers estimate a crowd of about 20,000 turned out for the event, with 58 parade floats showcasing the diversity of the Far North.
"It was one of the best parades I’ve seen, because people were so excited and committed and put so much effort into it," Cairns Regional Council Creative Cairns manager Les-lie Sparkes said.
"The Japanese float ... and the costumes were amazing. It was very impressive."
She said the Roller Derby girls were a highlight, with their antics thrilling the crowd.
Cairns father-of-two Scott Callaghan was one reveller getting into the spirit, alongside his wife Tina, daughter Lainey, 7, and son Jess, 9.
"The kids loved it, they thought it was fantastic," Mr Callaghan said. "They appreciated the lollies that got thrown and they enjoyed the music."
He rated the go-kart float as one of the best on display, with his family keen to experience all that the festival had to offer over the next two weeks.
The night was capped off with a fireworks display which, as always, was a crowd pleaser.
Meanwhile, several more events are planned this week, including the ongoing Esplanart display, a Salt House Free Movies night tomorrow and the Inkest Pull a Print bus tours on Wednesday.
"It’s full-on for the next two weeks. It’s going to be amazing," Ms Sparkes said.
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Colourful: Taiki Kudo goes bananas at the Cairns Festival parade. Picture: BRENDAN FRANCIS