Spread some messages of ‘love and hope’…

Clare Cotton - with Annie - is encouraging locals to ''dress'' a tree in their own garden to keep the Jumpers and Jazz creative spirit alive. Share your own efforts with the Free Times on Facebook...

By Jeremy Sollars

Coronavirus doesn’t have to restrict the creativity of Warwick locals who take to the CBD every year at Jumpers and Jazz time to ‘dress’ the trees for the winter festival.

Along with many others Clare Cotton was greatly disappointed at the cancellation of Jumpers and Jazz due to COVID-19, but she’s still determined to spread a message of “love and hope”.

Clare helped organise the ‘Community Tree’ on Fitzroy Street during last year’s festival which followed the 2019 Jumpers and Jazz in July theme of ‘Connect’ – with the ‘chains’ representing the myriad of community connections in our region.

Jumpers and Jazz organisers had planned for another ‘Community Tree’ in 2020 and while there’s some discussion with the council about a limited tree-dressing activity in July in the Warwick CBD – perhaps more news on this to come – Clare is encouraging residents to dress a tree in their own backyard and share images to keep the J&J spirit alive.

“A few of my friends have been doing what I’ve been doing in their own home garden and sharing it between ourselves – we’re calling it ‘spreading messages of love and hope’,” Clare said.

“It’s just a small gesture but it’s one way we can spread some positive thinking and find a creative outlet.

“I’ve been adding bits and pieces every few days, I even found some Christmas cards from last year with well-wishes on them, and other things that remind me of people I know.

“There’s so many creative people in Warwick and it’s such a shame they won’t be down the street as they normally would be this year – and of course it’s sad for the businesses who won’t benefit from the passing traffic as they normally would.

“But we can still find ways to spread a bit of colour and cheer and that’s important at the moment.”



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