Innisfail’s Tropical Art Deco Festival hailed a roaring success

Locals dressed in style and enjoyed the live entertainment at the Great Gatsby Picnic.

INNISFAIL District Historical Society’s inaugural Tropical Art Deco Festival ended on a high note with the Great Gatsby Picnic on the River at Jack Fossey Park.

Over the five days, 2,000 people participated in events, and many dressed up in impressive attire as they relived the roaring 1920s.

“A number of events sold out and most were well attended, with some events likely to grow over time as they capture the public’s imagination,” said Festival Convenor, Kerry Linton.

People travelled from as far south as Mackay, with Cassowary Coast residents well represented, as well as visitors from Cairns, Townsville, and the Tablelands adding to the numbers at various events.

The sell-out Art Deco High Tea at the Shire Hall, which was a Pink Ribbon event to raise awareness for women’s cancer, raised an impressive $4,550 for Cancer Council Queensland.

Guests enjoyed a glass of champagne on arrival and sumptuous afternoon team, raffles and lucky door prizes, and were treated to an afternoon of musical entertainment featuring Ashleigh Binello, as well as dance routines by Dance Works Academy, Innisfail Tribal Bellydance, and Graham Academy of Dance. 

There was an impressive fashion parade of Katies outfits, now stocked at Rockmans Innisfail, and Ashton stole the show as he accompanied the models.

Barbara Bortolanza won the prize for Most Creative Dressed Lady, whilst Courtney was judged the Best Dressed Male.

This event was sponsored by China and Lace and event organisers expressed their gratitude to all those involved on the day and behind the scenes who helped make the event a huge success.

Other festival highlights included the Moonlight Cemetery Walk, Art Deco trivia night, jazz music and cocktail cruises, vintage markets, guided Shire Hall tours, Great Gatsby Movie under the Stars, and cocktail party.


The scenic backdrop of the Johnstone River attracted a crowd who brought their fold-up chairs, rugs, and enjoyed a picnic, whilst listening to music and songs from the 1920s performed by the Innisfail Community Band, Just Sing It, The Martinis Trio, and Luke O’Neil Quartet with a dance routine by Dance Works Academy.

Daniella Cook was judged the Best Dressed Female and Luke Crook the Best Dressed Male.

The organising committee believes over time the Tropical Art Deco Festival can grow into a major destination tourism event for Innisfail with the support of local businesses and residents.

This popular annual festival was supported by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council and organised by a small committee.

Event organisers are already thinking ahead to 2022 and are keen to hear from anyone who would like to be involved at committee organising level, to host an event, or as a festival sponsor. 

Please send an email to tropicalartdeco@outlook.com for further information.

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