Sun rises on new citrus sculptures

NEW entrants to Griffith's famed citrus sculpture festival are welding the finer details to their crowd-drawing creations.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Lou Gulielmini and Renzo Rovere work on the Rising Sun citrus sculpture, an integral part of the Digger tradition and synonymous with the Anzac Spirit.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: Lou Gulielmini and Renzo Rovere work on the Rising Sun citrus sculpture, an integral part of the Digger tradition and synonymous with the Anzac Spirit.

There will be 63 sculptures on show at this year's Real Juice Company Citrus Sculpture festival, which opens in roughly eight weeks on October 12.

The four sculptures being built by the Griffith Base Hospital, Marian Catholic College, the Griffith RSL sub-branch and Hungry Jacks are taking shape.

Griffith returned serviceman Renzo Rovere is welding together a Rising Sun to mark 100 years since the outbreak of World War I, on behalf of the National Service and Combined Forces Association of Australia.

"I'm an ex-national serviceman and a member of the RSL and we have decided to do this in memory of 100 years since World War I," Mr Rovere said.

"The sculpture is of a Rising Sun, which represents the army, navy and air force, and after I powder-coat it I will have a sign-writer put a queen's crown on the top.

SEE PHOTOS FROM LAST YEAR'S CITRUS SCULPTURE FESTIVAL HERE.

"I've been doing it for a few weeks now and I am really happy with the way it's coming up.

"It has been very important for one of the chief instigators of the project (Griffith National Service branch member) Jim McGann who is now in hospital and has a picture of the sculpture next to his bed."

More than 150,000 oranges and the same number of rubber bands, a dedicated project manager and an army of 400 volunteers guarantee these sculptures are impressive and unique to Australia.

Griffith Visitor Information Centre manager Mirella Guidolin said there would be more sculptures than ever and the bus loads of visitors are already booked.

"The town already has 19 coach groups booked in over the two-week period of the sculpture and garden festivals and the program hasn't even gone out yet," she said.

"Accommodation is already looking tight, which is a great sign of the economic boost the festivals offer the city."

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