29 September 2023

More than 100,000 oranges donated to build 67 giant citrus sculptures in Griffith for spring festival

| Oliver Jacques
Start the conversation
Alyrah Mullins rides the Owen Toyota FJ Cruiser at the 2022 festival.

Alyrah Mullins rides the Owen Toyota FJ Cruiser at the 2022 festival. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Griffith’s main street will be adorned by 67 giant sculptures made from oranges, grapefruit and lemons for its flagship festival Spring Fest, which runs from 8 to 22 October 2023.

Real Juice Company has donated more than 100,000 locally grown oranges in its 26th year staging the unique event. More than 700 volunteers will help put them together.

Last year, a talking robot, sunbaking chicken, koala, guitar, piano and giant tennis racquet were among the creations.

READ ALSO Lawyer seeks to drop Salvestrin in bizarre Supreme Court hearing into Griffith winery liquidation

“There will be nine new sculpture designs this year,” Griffith City Council event coordinator Izabella Apolloni said.

Sarah Taranto of Owen Toyota said her company would participate in the display for the 23rd consecutive year.

“We will bring out our model of a Toyota LandCruiser, an FJ Cruiser. We have used the same frame that we had custom-made over 20 years ago. We’ve restored it three times now. Our maintenance crew work as hard on it as they do on any of our other vehicles.

“The structure was previously part of a children’s play equipment at the dealership and later converted to an orange sculpture.

“We use oranges for the base and grapefruit to create a bit of a contrast on the windows and headlights.”

Jordan Zirilli

Jordan Zirilli admired the Riverina Animal Grooming and All Creatures Veterinary Hospital’s creation in 2022. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

She said she’d be getting up at the crack of dawn on 8 October to help assemble it, as she had for the past five years.

“There is no method to the madness in how you do it.”

She said some staff found it difficult to use the rubber bands to keep the oranges together, but veteran sales manager Paul Connell had developed some expertise over the past decade and showed everyone else the way.

While most sculptures can’t be climbed, the FJ Cruiser is an exception.

“It’s got a moving wheel, kids can get in and honk the horn.”

Spring Fest also includes a LINX Launch Party on 13 October 2023 at the Griffith Tourism Hub Car Park, where visitors can indulge in local food, wine and beer while listening to live music and browsing the sculptures.

Some of the best and biggest private gardens across the district will also be open to the public for a small fee, as they have for the past 31 years.

Griffith Mayor Doug Curran has put the call out for volunteers to help assemble the Real Juice Company Citrus Sculptures.

“It only takes a few hours and the end result is absolutely brilliant,” Mayor Curran said.

“If you can help out, please do so, it so good to see the sensational community spirit we all know that Griffith has in abundance.”

READ ALSO The mysterious rise and fall of Griffith winery Sans Pareil Estate

Those who want to help are encouraged to wear closed in shoes and to bring a bucket.

Visitors can park free at the Griffith Visitor Information Centre carpark and then wander up Banna Avenue to admire and take photos of the 67 creations.

For further information, you can get in touch with the Griffith Tourism team by emailing [email protected] or calling 1800 681 141.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.