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Retrofest 2022 a rocking success

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Emma Pritchard, Clarence Valley Independent

An exuberant crowd turned back the clock to the 1950s and 1960s at Market Square on October 30 as Retrofest 2022 rocked Grafton’s popular recreational area beneath the blossoming jacaranda trees.

A vivid celebration of vintage fashions, classic cars and all things rock ‘n’ roll, the annual event is one of the most popular festivities during the Grafton Jacaranda Festival and attracted plenty of admiration and praise from locals and visitors.

Sydney resident Alyce Rhodden attended Retrofest for the first time this year and said it was much bigger and bolder than she imagined it would be.

“It had such an amazing retro vibe, and I’ve never been to an event like it before, it was truly delightful,” she said.

“No wonder it’s such a popular attraction during the festival every year.

“I will definitely come back next year, and I might even wear some of my mum’s vintage fashions that she gave me.”

Hosted by former Jacaranda Queen candidate Ella Gilbert and celebrity guest The David (David Subritzky), Retrofest 2022 featured live entertainment by outstanding performers Vanessa Lea and The Retro Train, classic car displays, and plenty of fun-filled attractions and contests for the crowd, including the much-loved Pin-Up Competition.

Dressed in their most glamorous frocks, contestants aged seven and above proudly modelled their colourful ensembles and individual styles and creations across five categories, with the winners progressing to the final and the opportunity to be named Miss Retrofest 2022.

This year, the title was awarded to Clarence Valley resident Catherine Moroney aka Miss Harley Hellcat, who wowed the judges Kerrie DiMattia and The David with her beautiful gown and sausage dog purse.

“She just looked so gorgeous,” The David said.

“She was an absolute stand-out.”  

Laughter filled the air as participants of all ages took part in the limbo competition while the Big River Rockers demonstrated their skilful moves on the dance floor and encouraged members of the audience to join them.

Jacaranda Festival Manager Mark Blackadder was over the moon to see so many people having a good time at Retrofest 2022 while the 2022 Jacaranda Royal Party also enjoyed themselves during their first official day as the newly crowned ambassadors and representatives of their local community.

Retrofest 2022 winners:

  • Fairy floss eating contest – Sebastian Gilmore
  • Dagwood Dog eating contest – Jim Lill from Showtime Castles

Best Beard and Moustache Competition:

  • Best Beard – Luke Denham
  • Best Moustache – Neil Wheeler
  • Best Overall Facial Hair and Style – John English

Pin-Up Competition for 2022:

  • Miss Daisy Doll – “Miss Citrus” Kahleah Botterill
  • Miss Sweet Pea – “Miss Divine Cherry” Lillian McPhee
  • Miss Foxy Tail – “Miss Daisy Drew” Kelsie Consadine
  • Miss Jaca Bloom – “Miss Harley Hellcat” Catherine Moloney
  • Misss Magnolia Belle – “Miss Heidi Dolly” Heidi Pasic 
Clarence Valley Independent 2 November 2022

This article appeared in the Clarence Valley Independent, 2 November 2022.

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