IT has been a key element in every festival since 1961 – and this year’s gala parade is expected to be no different.
Despite generational change and a change of route it still acts as a focal point to the Saturday of the long weekend celebration.
Gala parade coordinator Kirk Tabalotny says it will be a fun, noisy and happy event.
“It is certainly very different to what was effectively an end of harvest celebration when it was known as the Tobacco, Hops and Timber Festival,” he said.
“Over the past five years, the parade has changed in many ways – size, route, content and community involvement.
“The present route – from Duke Street, though Standish and Clyde streets, ending on Albert Street – differs greatly from the days when this event ran all the way to the football ground on Lewis Avenue.