History of the Goodna Jacaranda Festival

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In 1967 a meeting was called of 5 local schools’ Parents and friends Assoc. in the Goodna area: St Francis Xavier Catholic School , Goodna State School, Redbank State School, Redbank Plains State School and Camira State School. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of holding a Jacaranda Festival with the proceeds to be shared by the schools.

The meeting called for someone to chair the meeting; Kerry Fitzgerald volunteered and by the end of that meeting he was the President/Chairperson of the first Jacaranda Festival (1967) to be run since World War 11. “Rumour has it” that there was a festival around 1945 but nothing has been found to confirm this information.

Evan Marginson Park Goodna is the ideal setting for the Festival with the street being lined with magnificent Jacaranda trees which were planted by work gangs during the depression in 1932. The Festival is held in October when the trees are in full bloom.

The park on the corner of Church and Alice Streets Goodna was a Jacaranda Festival project. It was named ‘Warren Park’ in honour of Warren Thomas, a local real estate agent who supported the Festival projects including the planting and watering of Jacaranda trees in some Goodna streets. The seedlings and small trees came from the Migrant Hostel at Wacol, donated by the then Manager Harry Bale. Mr Bale also arranged to acquire the hostel playground equipment for the Park.

The local Qld MP, John Herbert, was instrumental in getting the Police Horse Reserve rededicated to become the park/playground renamed ‘Warren Park’.

The programme for the 1967/68 Festivals included a ball with TV personality Annette Alison as guest, a baby show which Bill Hayden (our almost Prime Minister) judged and competitions between the schools eg, bands, choirs etc.There was a Jacaranda Queen competition with the winner appearing on the float which led the Grand Parade of Floats.

After the Festival ran for two years (1967-68) it was decided by some schools to withdraw from the Festival to pursue their own fund raising projects. This led to the folding of the Jacaranda Festival Committee.
In 1982 the Festival was resurrected with Doc( Winston White) as President. John Nugent became Secretary in 1982, a position he held until 1997.

Since 1982 the Festival has become a yearly feature of the Goodna area, growing in size and incorporating many new activities along the way.

In 2001 All Fired Up Fireworks became involved in the yearly event. A spectacular fireworks display became a feature of the Festival and continues to be included in the program. The Yearly Talent Quest is very popular and draws a large number of entrants. Each year there are competitions for individuals, schools and organisations.

Sideshow Alley is a huge hit with families who enjoy the rides and stalls. Stall holders register their stalls well in advance of the Festival , most returning each year. The Parade of bands etc attracts quite a crowd each year. In the past floats were part of this parade but have not been included for some years.

2011 saw the introduction of a Car Show offering attractive prize money. It is an opportunity for car enthusiasts to share their interest locally. In the ensuring years the attendance for the 3-day event has grown and in 2012 it was believed to be up to 20,000 over the 3 days. The Goodna Festival continues to flourish , with renewed interest inspiring the Committee to look forward to a bigger and better ‘show’ for 2017.