Cairns Festival Parade Sees All Time Record High of 60 Floats Entered

The following press release timelines events  in the week leading up to the beginning of of this year’s Cairns Festival.  The rundown includes key activities and events up and to day one, Friday 17 August.

Cairns, QLD, Australia – ( August 13, 2012


Cairns Festival Parade Sees All Time Record High of 60 Floats Entered

Cairns Festival Parade Sees All Time Record High of 60 Floats Entered

Monday 13 August, 2012

Overflow FNQ Grand Parade

All day:  Final arrangements that include calling a halt to registrations for parade that has currently registered an all-time high of 60 floats. From roller derby girls, martial arts, and a collection of canines from YAPS to mermaids, marching bands and ukuleles, this year’s parade is shaping up to be a cracker.


Tuesday 14 August, 2012

Esplanart – Watch the Esplanade Transform into a Work of Art

All Day: Bump in of 10 commissioned installations by local artists between lagoon and Muddy’s playground in readiness for official opening tomorrow.  Each art work has been chosen for its creativity, inspiration and reflection of the surrounding environment.   The exhibition will be on show between 15 August and 2 September.

Jonathan Brilliant – Cairns Festival Resident Artist begins work

Jonathan Brilliant, visual artist based in North Carolina, USA, begins his organic site specific installation in the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre by weaving thousands of wooden coffee stir sticks in place, using only compression and tension. Wander down to the Visitor Centre to witness this spectacle grow – beginning on Tuesday and showcased right through Cairns Festival.


Wednesday 15 August, 2012

The Village on Esplanade – Watch the Village Take Shape

All Day: Roll up, Roll up for the bump in of three Moroccan tents on the Esplanade – located on the grassy area near the lagoon.  The Village on Esplanade will kick off proper on Friday evening with local entertainers, Lush Cabaret.   Note that on 24 August, the mini-castle, Castello tent will add to the village venues…a reminder will be sent next week.

1pm: Official opening of Esplanart

Mayor of Cairns Regional Council, Bob Manning, will officially open this year’s exhibition of ephemeral art, by local artists.  The opening will take place on the Esplanade opposite La Pizza.  Guests will include the exhibiting artists, their friends and supporters.


Thursday, 16 August

UMI Arts Big Talk One Fire – Media Call with headlining concert talent to be advised

7-11 pm: CIAF Opening Party at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal

This party is an exclusive opportunity for guests to purchase art before the fair opens on Friday.  It promises party goers a celebration like no other with local food and wine served in the garden and entertainment by Wawu Mamuele, a unique musical performance sung in Meriam Mer, a Kuku Yalaji language, by Deline and Marindi Briscoe and the Torres Strait Island Choir, as well as a spectacular dance performance by the Lockhart River Dancers, winners of the 2011 Laura Dance Festival.  Tickets to the event are $55 and available  from Ticketlink. For information,

7.30pm: Don Quixote by Australian Ballet at Cairns Civic Theatre (+ Friday 17th Aug)

‘The Dancers Company’ will present the lively ballet classic, Don Quixote.  Based on the legendary tale by Spanish author Cervantes, this classical ballet tells the story of the knight Quixote on a quest to find his lost love.  Tickets $51 Adult, $25 Child.  To book,

Many Visual Art Exhibitions Begin      

A host of finely curated exhibitions begin and run throughout Cairns Festival – Inkmasters Print Exhibition at Tanks Arts Centre continues as does the Inkmasters Indigenous Small Print Exhibition at Canopy Artspace. Kick Arts is busy with the presentation of Cape York Stories by local identity, Arone Meeks, emerging artist, Napoleon Oui’s collection of rainforest inspired work and Brian Robinson’s Melanesian inspired work, Men + Gods.  C. 1907, City Place, we will see Fiona Croft presentig “Eye on Country: Girrigun Artists”.


Friday 17 August – DAY ONE

Bird Watching on Cairns Esplanade   Friday 17 August – Sunday 2 September

This free event takes the shape of spotting local fauna during a guided walk.  Visit  for information and times.

 CIAF at Cairns Cruise Liner Terminal Friday 17 August – Sunday 19 August

This event will showcase the art of more than 300 artists, attracting Australian and international collectors and curators, as well as individual art lovers and those interested in learning more about indigenous art.  More than an art fair, CIAF’s free music, dance and children’s art programs are a drawcard for visitors.  FREE entry from 10am to 6pm on Friday and Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday.  For information,

Note: CIAF Symposium will take place on Friday and Saturday at Centre of Contemporary Arts.  Tickets $25/15 conc per session from

The Trinity Luncheon on Cairns Esplanade

This event by Events NQ will showcase contemporary cuisine and catwalk fashion to a ticketed guest list of 200 from 11.3 – 3.30pm.  Tickets $155 per person inclusive of food, beverages and entertainment – and chance to win a Tiffany necklace.  To book, ph: 4053 4577.

The Village on Esplanade on Cairns Esplanade Friday 17 August – Sunday 2 September

A quirky, vaudevillean, retro-futuristic, sideshow romp….The Village on Esplanade is destined to delight with free and ticketed events  throughout Cairns Festival.  Open Monday to Friday 4pm to 11.30pm and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 11.30pm.

The Village on Esplanade will feature a colourful cluster of Moroccan tents: The Palace (luscious tea lounge), The Performery (the performance tent), The Pavilion (the community tent) and The Castello (mini castle packed with ridiculous and gorgeously comic acts).

At the Village, expect to see a quirky array of characters that might include Trichia – a nature loving human and Helix, a giant garden snail – together, they make up The Slow Show.  Be led across randomly appearing zebra crossings by the Lollipop Ladies while enjoying other roving appearances from Cairns very own Mermaids, the extraordinary Bower People, The Secretary who will help you compose that all important letter to a very important person, Robo Rockers, Igor and His Evil Genius and the fantastical Incredible Flea Circus.

Of course, there is much more including exclusive Village shows by Lush Cabaret and Kurandacoots, a good old fashion Ska B Que and loads of great original, local music!

Day one of The Village kicks off with Lush Cabaret’s Clown Fish Saloon at 9pm.

Decadent, provocative and joyful, LUSH Cabaret has established itself as a troupe that brings sass, wit, and above all, fun to the stage. With The Clown Fish Salon, LUSH revive the vintage days of Vaudeville, paying homage to the travelling carnivals and freak shows of the twenties and thirties. Acrobats, dancers, finely tuned jazz musicians, contortionists, marine creatures and divas will all have their moment at The Clown Fish Salon.

Choose from a packed program of entertainment and mayhem, chill out with some Palace eating delights, listen to one of the emerging local talents on the Cooked in Cairns stage, wander past the girls at Ozichalk working on their artistic miracles on the footpaths that surround The Village.

Check out the daily chalkboard for times.  Tickets can be purchased from The Village.  To find out more, or or


UMI Arts Big Talk One Fire at Fogarty Park

From 2pm to 10pm, immerse yourself in UMI Arts’ Indigenous Cultural Celebration in Fogarty Park.  This free event will feature music and dance by Troy and Trevelyn, Black Image, hip-hop sensation, Jordan Oliver and special guest, Naomi Wenitong.  Actor Aaron Fa’aso will emcee this great event that includes a special opening ceremony in front of the stage at approximately 7.30pm.  For information,

An Evening with Colin Hay at Tanks Arts Centre

Men at Work front man, Colin Hay will open the Tanks’ Festival music program with a performance of songs from his new album, Gathering Mercury as well as selections from his solo albums and fan favourites from the past.

Doors open 6.30pm and show starts at 7.15pm. Tickets $50/$45 conc from Ticketlink

All Jazz and Jam at Bernie’s Jazz & Piano Cafe 92 Abbott Street

Free live music showcasing the best jazz musos and vocalists Cairns has to offer from 7.30pm to 11.30pm throughout the Festival.  For information, ph: 4041 4603

Fire Art at The Esplanade Sandpit Friday 17, 24 and 31 August

Be thrilled as the Cycas Circus troupe amaze with their feats of fire – Free for all to enjoy, every Friday evening throughout Festival between 7pm and 8pm.

Wakaid Girl / Lyndhurst Kid at Centre of Contemporary Arts on Friday 17 & Saturday 18 August

This original play, written and performed by Diat Alferink, is a personal story about the dilemma presented by growing up in the black and white world of Australian culture.  Directed by Maude Davey with music by Lou Bennet, this is a story of reconciliation played out in the disparate cultures of the Torres Strait and the desert outback.  A riveting tale that melds traditional cultural dance and song with contemporary music and story telling.  Tickets $15 Adults/U15 Free.  For information and to book, ph: 4050 9400

Cult Classic Movies – Every Festival Friday at City Place – Friday 17, 24 and 31 August

Mad Max kicks off the bill of three cult classics  on night one from 8pm in City Place.

Proper Solid by Steven Oliver at Centre of Contemporary Arts

Be treated to a free, public play reading of a new script in development, Proper Solid, by Steven Oliver.  Commissioned by JUTE Theatre Company and based on success stories told by local indigenous people, this new work is a comedy about success and the obstacles we all aspire to overcome in order to celebrate living in this region.  For time and details,


A Wee Taste of What’s Coming Up on Day Two & Three

Saturday, 18 August

  • Julie McEnerny: Wandering Sketch Workshops from 9am to Noon, meet at Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre.  Tickets $20/$15conc
  • Children’s Village at The Village on Esplanade from 10am to 4pm FREE
  • Ronald McDonald Magic Show at Muddy’s from 2pm to 3pm FREE
  • Overflow FNQ Opening Parade as well as free music and fireworks display on Cairns Esplanade Saturday 18 August

10am Registrations in Munro Martin Park

5.30 – 7.30pm Overflow FNQ Grand Parade,

7pm – 7.30pm Cairns Pan Stars (from end of Parade to beginning of Fireworks)

7.30pm – 7.40pm Fireworks

7.40pm – 8.20pm Seiji Yamauchi (who paints to a pumping soundtrack and will paint the backdrop to our Cooked in Cairns / Village on Esplanade Stage)

8.20pm – 9.20 pm Chris Ah Gee (local musician who will support Guy Sebastian in up and coming tour)

All events, with exception of parade and fireworks will take place on the Free family Stage at The Village on Esplanade.

9 pm LUSH Cabaret (The Clown Fish Salon)  in the Performery at The Village on Esplanade.  Tix avail at the Village on Esplanade Box Office.


Sunday 19 August, 2012

  • · JCU Open Day at Smithfield Campus from 10am to 2pm, FREE
  • · Music Botanica at Cairns Botanic Gardens from 12.30pm – 6pm Tickets $60 /55 conc / 30 ages 5 – 12
  • · SKA B Que at The Village on Esplanade from 1pm to 6pm FREE
  • · Food & Film at Arthouse from 6pm Tickets $12/$10 Concession


About Cairns Festival

Cairns Festival runs from August 17 to September 2, 2012.

Cairns Festival is supported and presented by Cairns Regional Council with generous support from event partners and sponsors. For more information,

 Pip Miller PR

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