14 October 2022

VIDEO: Check out the best of the 25th Griffith Citrus Sculptures exhibition

| Oliver Jacques
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horses and cart

Bertoldo’s Bakery. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

A talking robot with an attitude, a sunbaking chicken and a giant koala were among more than 70 lifelike orange-made sculptures that will line Griffith’s main street until 22 October.

More than 700 volunteers came together at sunrise on Sunday, 9 October, to transform more than 100,000 oranges and grapefruits into the 25th annual Real Juice Company Citrus Sculptures exhibition.

The event is part of a series of festivals during Griffith Spring Fest. A number of schools, businesses, organisations and volunteer groups have created sculptures, many of which provide a representation of what they do.

Veritech Corporation, an IT company that looks after computers for businesses, has unleashed the talking robot Vernon for the event for the past six years. Company director Livio Mazzon said Vernon wasn’t too bright in the early years but was slowly developing a mind of his own.

“He’s now got a little mini-computer inside with a motion sensor in there, so whenever someone walks past it randomly picks a phrase, it’s got about 100 phrases in there … whenever someone walks past they get something different said to them,” Mr Mazzon said.

”This is the first year he is internet connected. Every year we add a little bit to the brains. Next year I want the eyes to flash when he’s talking and maybe even hook it up to Google so people can ask him questions.”

Vernon the citrus sculpture.

Livio Mazzon and his creation Vernon. Photo: Oliver Jacques.

Vernon has a solar panel on the top of his head and is fully powered by the sun. He also laughs, sings and raps, his favourite song being Intergalactic, a 1998 hit from American rap-rock group the Beastie Boys.

Other notable sculptures include:

The sculptures are on display in Banna Avenue until 22 October. Visitors are encouraged to park free at the Griffith Visitor Information Centre carpark and then wander up Banna Avenue to admire and take photos of all 70 creations.

Original Article published by Oliver Jacques on Region Riverina.

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