Nimbin set to light up

PEACE PIPE: The Nimbin MardiGrass festival is set to return to the streets of Nimbin this weekend.
PEACE PIPE: The Nimbin MardiGrass festival is set to return to the streets of Nimbin this weekend. Patrick Gorbunovs

JOINT rolling, bong throwing and Ganja Faeries.

Anywhere else it would sound like the antics of a rock star, but on the Northern Rivers it can mean only one thing: MardiGrass, which is back for its 22nd year this month at Nimbin. The festival will be held this weekend at the new venue on Cullen St, behind the Hemp embassy/town hall.

MardiGrass president Michael Balderstone said recent cannabis reforms in the United States had given the festival a renewed sense of optimism.

"I think everyone's got a bit of a sense that the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter," he said.

"The changes in America are really like wildfire and public opinion has changed quickly."

Mr Balderstone said initial community opposition to MardiGrass had been largely overcome, as the festival provided a major financial boost the region.

"In the beginning there was quite a lot of conflict in the community, but I think that's changed because it's such a big economic boost to so many people," he said.

"The majority of the Nimbin community supports cannabis law reform and the community has got much more tolerant over time."

Mr Balderstone said he expects between 5000 and 10,000 people will attend this year's festival.

Despite the growing popularity of the music, Mr Balderstone said the Hemp Olympix were still the favourite. Info: www.nimbinmardigrass. com.

Topics:  mardigrass nimbin

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