COMM12016 Citizen Blog 3 – The Mackay Orchid Extravaganza

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Figure 1: A display of orchids. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

On Saturday, 17th of September I went to the Mackay Orchid Extravaganza, held at Queen’s Park and showcasing an incredibly wide variety of beautiful flowers. This year was the fourth time the event was held since it began in 2012 (Mackay Regional Council 2016). Hundreds of species of orchids were displayed at the event, both to admire and to purchase. The displays were created by council workers, local orchid societies and orchid enthusiasts.

Orchids, or Orchidaceae, are a large and varied family of colourful flowers that are widely grown. There are both natural and artificial hybrid types of orchids (Magrath 2015).

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Figure 2: An orchid. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

The Orchid House, a great hall filled with orchid flowers was one of the main attractions. A gold coin donation was required for entry.

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Figure 3: Inside the Orchid House. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

Inside the house was a number of beautiful displays and card sheets carrying information on the various types of orchids.

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Figure 4: An information card on orchids. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza

Outside of the Orchid House was numerous market stalls with many orchids for sale along with other flowers, produce and gardening- related items. Tables, chairs and drinks were also available for people to relax and admire the orchids.

There were a number of workshops, information sessions and live demonstrations for audiences to inform them on how to properly grow and maintain their own orchids in Queensland and in general conditions.

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Figure 5: The area where workshop demonstrations take place. Source: Mackay Orchid Extravaganza 2016

Finally, there was also an auction held for a variety of orchids and other types of flowers, with the items contributed by the organisers and volunteers.

The event was also an opportunity for people interested in horticulture to mingle and share ideas, a gathering that was part of the broader Mackay’s publicsphere. Chatting casually and putting up physical displays and signs are methods of communication in the publicsphere, rather than the mediasphere of the internet, radio and so on (Bainbridge, Goc & Tynan 2015, p. 13).

It was very enjoyable overall.

References

Bainbridge, J, Goc, N & Tynan, L 2015, Media and journalism New Approaches to theory and practice Third Edition, Oxford University Press, Melbourne

Mackay Regional Council 2016, Mackay’s Orchid Extravaganza, viewed 15 September 2016, http://www.mackay.qld.gov.au/community/events/mackays_orchid_extravaganza

Magrath, L, 2015, ‘Orchids‘, Salem Press Encyclopedia of Science

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