Festival Cairns is designed to show off local artistic, musical, and culinary talents and crowds flock in their droves to participate or observe the exciting events. The Grand Toyota Parade, which kicks-off the festival, draws crowds of over 35,000 people. On this night the streets of Cairns are abuzz with revelers who watch the vibrant and colorful floats go by before turning their attention to the sky for a spectacular firework display on the waterfront.
For artists and musicians Festival Cairns is a great way to present their work to the world. The festival gives Indigenous artists a way of connecting with buyers whom they may not have ever met if it were not for the festival. During Festival Cairns 2009, over $800,000 worth of Indigenous art was sold to both local and international buyers.
While some Festival Cairns events do require tickets to be purchased, there are plenty of activities the whole family can enjoy for free. Last year there were plenty of free concerts including one featuring the talents of The Saltwater Band, buskers roamed the streets entertaining with their quirky antics, there were also numerous activities on the Cairns Esplanade including DIY workshops.