Here's your guide to what's on, and what's not, this October long weekend.
Here's your guide to what's on, and what's not, this October long weekend.

What’s on (and what’s not) this October long weekend

THE October long weekend is usually one of the busier weekends in the Clarence Valley, with plenty of events to entertain young and old alike during the spring school holidays.

However, with the coronavirus pandemic forcing many events to be cancelled and borders to be closed, things are a little different for 2020.

 

First, the bad news …

 

What's not on:

 

Australian National Goanna Pulling Championships

It's bad news for chiropractors and lizard enthusiasts alike, as organisers of the Australian National Goanna Pulling Championships decided to postpone this year's championships, which have been a popular spectacle in Wooli for more than 30 years.

"It is with much regret that the ANGPC committee has decided that due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, among other factors, that we have decided to postpone the 2020 Australian National Goanna Pulling Championships this year," vice president Craig Stone said.

"We hope to see you all back in Wooli on the October long weekend in 2021."

 

Men's heavyweight division defending champion Alex Jefferies at the Australian National Goanna Pulling Championships in Wooli on October 6, 2019.
Men's heavyweight division defending champion Alex Jefferies at the Australian National Goanna Pulling Championships in Wooli on October 6, 2019.

 

Grafton Bridge 2 Bridge Ski Classic

Last year's version of the Bridge 2 Bridge Ski Classic didn't quite live up to its title when it omitted one of the main bridges the event is famous for, but proving once again that something is better than nothing. This year water-sport fans will have to go without any skiing with the event cancelled. Ski Racing Australia organisers announced earlier this year that due to COVID-19 there would be a delay to the 2020/21 season, postponing the Grafton Bridge 2 Bridge to next year.

"Due to the ongoing and complex restrictions around the COVID-19 pandemic, including the hard border closures, the Board of Ski Racing Australia have decided it is necessary to postpone the commencement of 2020/2021 season. The season is now proposed to run the full calendar year from January to December 2021," Ski Racing Australia CEO Cam McConville said.

Despite the staggered departure times, there was room for overtaking during the 2019 Grafton Bridge to Bridge Ski Classic.
Despite the staggered departure times, there was room for overtaking during the 2019 Grafton Bridge to Bridge Ski Classic.

 

Eat Street Yamba

The sight of thousands of people flocking to Yamba's CBD is usually what we expect to see come the October long weekend, but this year such a happening would be frowned upon, to say the very least.

With the strict requirements of social distancing almost impossible to control and maintain in a small section of Coldstream St, Rotary Club of Yamba decided it was just not possible to hold this year's Eat Street Yamba.

"We just can't do the required 1.5m social distancing requirements with 5000 people so we opted to cancel the event this year," Rotary Club of Yamba events co-ordinator Gayle Doe said.

The cancellation is a blow to the club still trying to recover after fire destroyed a storage shed last year, and Eat Street Yamba is a major fundraising event. Rotary Club of Yamba now turn their attention to their next big event, the Rotary Twlight Markets on January 1, 2021.

 

Coldstream St was packed with people for Eat Street Yamba, but in the middle of a pandemic large crowds are a no-no.
Coldstream St was packed with people for Eat Street Yamba, but in the middle of a pandemic large crowds are a no-no.

 

But don't fret, there are some fun things happening this weekend to get excited about:

 

Maclean Family Carnival

When the Maclean and Grafton shows were cancelled this year many may have thought their chance to go on the ferris wheel and hook into a dagwood dog were gone, but the Maclean Family Carnival will satisfy all your showtime needs!

Organised by Northern Rivers Jumping Castles, owner Jesse Flanagan said for the past six months his rides and attractions have been sitting in storage.

"I thought we've just got to get back out there again and do something, there's just nothing happening and the bills don't stop," he said.

"We've made everything as safe as possible to get approval, and that includes temperature checks as well as signing in at the gate, we'll have sanitiser at all the rides and between sessions we will sanitise all the rides.

The carnival is at Maclean Showground on Saturday and Sunday from 10am-1pm and 3-6pm. Tickets available at their website.

Don't fret if you're in Grafton and can't make it to Maclean because the Grafton Family Carnival will be next weekend.

 

If you're in the mood for some fairground fun, the Maclean Family Carnival at the Showgrounds this weekend will be the place to be.
If you're in the mood for some fairground fun, the Maclean Family Carnival at the Showgrounds this weekend will be the place to be.

 

JADA opening

He's kept us glued to our television screens for the past 20 years, and now Rove McManus will have artists across the country watching him next month.

The celebrated television personality will co-host the opening of the of the biennial Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Awardwith Grafton Regional Gallery director Niomi Sands in an online presentation on Friday at 6pm.

For more details visit the Grafton Regional Gallery website. The exhibition will be open to the public from Saturday

Australian comedian and artist Rove McManus will virtually host the JADA Drawing Award.
Australian comedian and artist Rove McManus will virtually host the JADA Drawing Award.

 

Terry Randall Memorial Reconciliation NAIDOC Golf Day

If chasing a small white ball around a big green field is more your style, and you feel like spoiling a good walk (Mark Twain's words, not mine) then head out to Maclean Golf Course for the Terry Randall Memorial NAIDOC Golf Day 2020 on Sunday.

Mudyala Aboriginal Corporation is a proud sponsor of the event which will be following all COVID-19 restrictions and regulations.

This will mean they have a cap on numbers so get in quick!

Price of $50 per person will cover barbecue lunch, green fees, golf day shirt and a donation to Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter appeal. For more details call 6645 2183.