TAREE'S autumn freshen up has put a smile on Graham Brown's face.
The Taree businessman behind the Tidy Up Taree initiative, which saw about 40 people roll up their sleeves on Sunday to pitch in to clean and brighten up two sections of the town's central business district, said it has made a big difference to its appearance.
"The workers on the weekend were phenomenal.
"I think it was really successful. We didn't have anywhere near the numbers we had the first time, but they were 40 of the keenest workers I've seen.
"Some people turned up at 6am and a whole swag of people arrived at 6.30am and didn't stop until 12.30pm.
"We got lots done."
Jobs included new plants in the gardens, painting road signs, garbage bins and electrical boxes blue, painting the median strips and garden beds and lots of cleaning.
Young kids were out helping too, the youngest being about four who went around with his mum getting rid of cobwebs.
The highlight of the day though was discovering a sandstone entrance and pavers in Victoria Street, near Walker Legal.
"It had been black as black. My son Kyle spent an hour on the gurney cleaning it off.
"That was our big hit for the day."
Attempts were made to clean the Valley Fair sign but Graham said it became clear it was a paint issue not a dirt issue.
A brick wall garden on the corner of Macquarie Street and Victoria Street, which was a black brick fence is now a light grey colour.
With everyone working so hard, an esky of cold drinks was wheeled around to all the workers for refreshments.
At lunchtime, Bunnings came with a trailer and cooked everyone a barbecue lunch.
Sunday's tidy up had been postponed from March 2, when heavy rains put a stop to the plans.
When it came to prize time, Graham said no residential streets got involved in the block challenge but residents of Johns River have done a massive clean-up in their community with slashing, whipper snippering and clearing rubbish.
So the award for the block with the most participants has been awarded to the community of Johns River (the prize is still being negotiated).
The King TUT trophy will be shared between Greater Taree City Council and Baker's Delight.
Graham said council had put another team in on Sunday, which worked hard, and it also had a team last time.
He gives special mention to Ausmulch for everything they did for the last TUT day
The Bakers Delight owners paid staff that day so they could come down and help.
The $500 prize of advertising package with the Manning River Times went to Bakers Delight.
Most rubbish collected goes to Friends of Browns Creek for their efforts on the weekend of March 2, in the rain.
The group has won a Block Party, which they can use at one of their open days, and includes pre-launch snacks from Jack Rabbit, barbecue support by Bunnings and drinks from Saxby's.
Graham is planning to give Tidy Up Taree another run in spring and dial it back to a spring clean once a year.
"Once a year is probably enough. What I'd like to do next time is pick a project and people can makes suggestions on the Tidy Up taree website."
He noted on Sunday that a lot of the business in Manning Street had cleaned up their shopfronts and looked very clean and tidy.