On Saturday 25 August spectators will gather in their thousands to cheer on a creative collection of floats as part of 2018 Cairns Festival annual Grand Parade.

One of Cairns’ most-loved annual community events, the Grand Parade incorporates a day of free family entertainment along the Esplanade, leading in to the Grand Parade and culminating in a spectacular fireworks display.

The theme for 2018 is Kaleidoscope and this year’s parade sets a focus on the environment with the inclusion of a new ‘Eco-float’ award.

Cairns is home to a vivid range of colours that reflect our beautiful tropical environment and interweave to create a rich blend of cultures; a kaleidoscope of ever-evolving patterns unique to our region.

The Grand Parade has a proud history of showcasing every sector of the community that is truly a celebration of life in the tropics.

The parade is one of the largest community showcases of its kind in Australia, per capita, and attracts local families and visitors in their thousands who gather along the Esplanade to cheer on the colourful procession of floats representing local schools, charities, sporting clubs, cultural groups and businesses.


The parade will start at 5pm from the corner of Minnie Streets and the Esplanade and will finish at Spence Street. Fireworks will start at 7:30pm.


Free all day entertainment

The hilarious Esthers in the Lagoon will be roving and perform two shows: 10:30am & 12:30pm.

The Cairns Festival Stage will host a fantastic afternoon of free local music kicking off at 1pm.

The line-up includes Lady Valiant, Greta Stanley, Leanne Tennant, Tropical FYAH and Rochelle Pitt.

A 2018 program highlight, giant roving Seagulls will take over the area near the Lagoon from 2pm, 3:15pm and 4:30pm.

Presented by Melbourne-based Company, Snuff Puppets, the giant Seagulls will descend in a noisy quarrelsome pack with these unruly scavengers devouring everything in their path.

Watch out for this unruly bunch – you might lose your hat or the jacket off your back as they fight each other for the finest spoils!


The full Cairns Festival program can be downloaded from the Cairns Festival website, or pick up a copy from Council’s customer service centres, Cairns Libraries branches and local shopping centres.