Love is all around as Garden Gala comes up roses

Hugs, kisses and smiles were the order of the day today at the Garden Gala as the Nambucca Valley gathered en masse for the first time since these wretched fires caught hold.

There was joy - and puppies - all around and it felt like a giant weight was being lifted off the community's collective shoulders with each heavenly waft of roses, and each tropical beat of the delightful Stuarts Point Public School's Marimba Ensemble.

The humidity was trying its darnedest to squash the sparkling ambience, but who can be angry after the first decent soaking this Valley has had in a long while ... there were even puddles in the carpark!

Those who speculated there might be a poor turnout at this year's event owing to the drought and fires couldn't have been more wrong. The Showground streets were thrumming with people splashing out on Christmas presents, stocking up on succulents, and breathing a little easier for the first time in weeks.

Another fantastic event and perhaps just what was needed.

Please enjoy the gallery of photos - it was a joy to take them.

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