Tony's wealth of Jaca Market experience
OUT of more than one hundred stallholders at the Jacaranda Market, few have attended more than Tony Flew.
He remembers setting up shop on Jacaranda Thursday before any official market took place.
"I would be one of the most experienced stall holders around here," Mr Flew said.
"We were doing it when there was no market here," Mr Flew said. "We used to put a tarp under the trees and sell water pistols and cap guns."
These days Mr Flew sells homemade jewellery, antique tools and imported hats under the label Crocodile Creek Fashions.
Based out of his cattle property at Coutts Crossing, Mr Flew and his wife work "80 to 90 hours per week" and attend "80 to 100 events each year" throughout the country.
"We travel Australia-wide," he said. "We go from South Australia to the Darwin Show in July, farm festivals and field days.
"We've been making a living out of it for about 30 years."
Apart from occasionally frequenting the monthly Yamba and Maclean markets, the Jacaranda Festival is the only event Flew attends regularly in the Clarence Valley.
"It's always a good crowd here and at the TAFE Market this Saturday," he said.
"Grafton was ruined when they stopped Alumy Creek about ten years ago. That was a very good market and nothing else has compared to it since."
Having just returned from the Canberra Camping Show and Murrumbateman Field Days, the couple are now looking forward to taking a break for the rest of the year.
Picture perfect day for Jacaranda Markets
Jacaranda Market organisers Paul and Valma Ryan could not have asked for a better day for the event with Prince St buzzing all yesterday morning.
"The weather is beautiful and we couldn't have asked for anything else really, apart from a few hours sleep," Mrs Ryan said.
"And I just wish the kids with the shaving cream would go away, but you can't do much about that."
The couple have been organising the Jacaranda Market for the past six years but are adamant this is their last, with the stress of organising the large event taking its toll.
"We're the complaints desk," they said.
While a lot of organisation goes into organising the privately run event, Mr Ryan said it was an integral part of the Jacaranda Festival.
"It's a business for these stallholders, it's their bread and milk money. Some stalls will make $10,000 today.
"I think it's great for Grafton. It's an amazing place, Grafton."