Five-day festival to celebrate Innisfail’s Art Deco heritage

Local ladies dressed up in their best 1920s style outfits are looking forward to this year’s Tropical Art Deco festival.

AFTER last year’s Art Deco event was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Innisfail and District Historical Society is excited to host the Tropical Art Deco Festival, which runs from September 15 – 19.

Since securing a Cassowary Coast Regional Council Major Event grant in April, it has been a busy time for the organising committee, which is made up of Historical Society members and representatives of groups who will host events.

Innisfail and District Historical Society President, Trish Ernst, advised that the group was formed in 1984 and members have gathered a lot of stories, photographs, and newspaper editions from the very early days of settlement to recent times.

“As the economy of the area improved and businesses started to flourish, Art Deco became part of Innisfail’s history.” 

“Today, we are fortunate to have so many of these beautiful old buildings still in existence, especially after three major cyclones.”

“The Tropical Art Deco Festival celebrates our unique buildings, and that Innisfail is the Art Deco capital of Australia.”

This event, which is proudly supported by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council, begins on Wednesday, September 15, with the Historical Society’s ‘Moonlight Tour’ at the Innisfail cemetery, starting at 6.30pm. 

There are plenty of free and ticketed events, including guided town walks, an Art Deco trivia night, Shire Hall self-guided tours, a Roaring 20s cocktail party, a Movie under the stars, Champagne mystery movie, Lioness markets, jazz and cocktail river cruises, jazz music in Edith Street, a high tea, and a vintage market at the Shire Hall.

Celebrations will conclude with a Great Gatsby Picnic in Jack Fossey Park, on the riverfront, on Sunday, September 19, from 2.00pm – 5.00pm. 

Entry is free and it is a BYO picnic, rugs, and chairs, where guests will be entertained by local talent, including Innisfail Community Band, Just Sing It! Danceworks Academy, Viv Edwards, a jazz trio, and guest performers, as well as a vintage car display.

Most events encourage patrons to wear Art Deco style fancy dress to help set the mood and to celebrate the town’s Art Deco heritage and stunning architecture. 

This Art Deco style architecture came about after the 1918 cyclone, which destroyed large portions of the town.

Be sure to visit the Innisfail Historical Society Museum in Edith Street’s Canecutter Court during the festival, open between 10.00am – 2.00pm, for a closer look at Innisfail’s history.

There is something for everyone at this year’s Tropical Art Deco Festival, with five days of 1920s fashion, fun and music.

For a detailed events program and information on how to book for ticketed events, please visit www.cassowarycoast.qld.gov.au/our-community/tropical-art-deco.

Further information can also be found on the Tropical Art Deco and Innisfail and District Historical Society’s Facebook pages.

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