News

Festival fever fires up town

The Emerald Dance Centre took out first prize in the float competition.
The Emerald Dance Centre took out first prize in the float competition.

THE Sunflower Festival street parade exploded with colour and excitement as it wound its way around Emerald streets on Saturday morning.

Parents waved to parade participants and kids squealed in excitement as they scurried to collect the lollies tossed from the floats.

"I think it went very well," Sunflower committee president Patti Schwarz said. "It went off without a hitch. The parade lived up to our expectations. There were plenty of floats and decorated bikes, lots of colour."

The Emerald Dance Centre won best float and the Emerald Pre-School and Community Kindergarten float came runner-up in a competition boasting many bright entries.

A cute addition to the parade was the children riding their decorated bikes, with two-year-old Mackenzie Burridge taking out first prize.

"The committee thanks all who took the time to put floats and decorated bikes in," Patti said. "I loved the Tongans singing. It was just terrific."

A first for the festival were the games at Pioneer Park which included a foot race and were popular.

"There was a huge crowd," she said.

"The Lions Club did sack races and egg and spoon races and the kids loved that.

"The whole day went really well."

 

Emerald gal dazzled to be crowned the queen 

AMAZING.

That was all Melanie McMaster could manage to say in the minutes after she was crowned Sunflower Queen.

"I'm still collecting myself," Melanie said immediately after.

"This next year will be amazing, I am really looking forward to it.

"It's something very different."

Melanie chose to raise funds for the AEIOU Foundation for Children with Autism and held a sausage sizzle, a raffle, a movie premiere and a trivia night.

"I raised just over $5000 and feel so honoured I got to do that," she said.

"They were very grateful, it goes to a great cause here in Emerald.

"I am just happy to raise that for them and contribute to the community."

Melanie was bestowed with the Sunflower crown and sceptre and was awarded $750, a sapphire ring and a trip to Canada.

"I feel so honoured to represent Emerald, having lived here all my life, it's a great opportunity," the new queen said.

"I've never been to Canada so I am very excited to experience the culture and see the different sights and their Sunflower festival."

Melanie's family was there at the crowning on Saturday to cheer her on and mum Shelley said it was "very exciting" to see Melanie named as Sunflower Queen.

"I think I was more nervous for her, I nearly fell over (when they announced Melanie had won)," Shelley said.

"It was so worthwhile and we had fun doing the fundraising with Melanie. We are so very proud of her."

The 2011 Sunflower Queen Amy Spannagle was there at the crowning on Saturday to give Melanie a few tips in what to expect as queen.

"Mel is going to have a blast," Amy said.

"It's a life experience on its own. It's so exciting to pass it on to someone new." 

 

Surprised smile from Sunflower Princess 

GEORGIA Staal is the Sunflower Princess for 2012.

The 16-year-old was crowned princess in the ceremony on Saturday, much to her surprise and delight.

Collecting herself to give an impromptu speech, Georgia thanked the Sunflower committee and the other entrants.

"It's such a great experience," she said. "I've made a lot of friends, it's been fantastic. Very memorable."

Runner-up 15-year-old Suzannah Ramsay congratulated Georgia on winning the title.

"Georgia did a good job, I am very proud," Suzannah said.

Sharing in the special moment together, Georgia was quick to add she was very surprised to have won.

"Either one of us could have won it, it was that close," Georgia said. "I feel very privileged."

A Central Highlands girl at heart, Georgia said she often watched the Easter parade while growing up.

The Marist College student was able to take part in the parade this year, decorating her own float.

Georgia, who plays netball in her spare time, had her friends from the sport on board the float to give her a hand in waving to the crowd. 

 

Our friendly folk impress Canadian 

THE friendliness of the people of the Central Highlands is just one of the many things Altona Sunflower Queen Rachel Sawatzky will remember from her trip Down Under.

The 19-year-old took part in the Sunflower Festival held in Emerald at the weekend and said she had met many friendly people.

"I am loving it, I love the weather," Rachel said.

"It's beautiful and great people. It's very community orientated much like Altona.

"Everyone is very friendly."

Rachel and her parents stayed with Amy and her family for the week.

The Canadian queen said the Spannagle family was very hospitable.

"We feel so welcomed and at home, very chilled and relaxed," the Canadian said.

The Central Highlands made a good impression on Rachel and her family and she said she would keep the memories forever.

During her stay, Rachel saw her first kangaroo, visited the Gemfields, the Springsure look-out, the Blackwater International Coal Centre, experienced what it would be like in a mine at Lennon Training and went horseback riding on the Spannagle property.

"I'd like to thank Amy and her family," Rachel said.

"We've had a lot of fun and good laughs.

"We have become great friends and hopefully we will keep in contact in the years to come." 

 


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Local workers need to be given a chance

Gregory MP Lachlan Millar.

Local MP calls for recruitment of local workers as well as FIFOs.

Beating the heat in the school holidays

Ellie Dyer on the monkey bars at a fun filled playground.

Looking for something to do these school holidays?

Regional hearing on black lung coming to Emerald

Section of a coal worker's lung showing black lung disease with progressive massive fibrosis.Contributed

The inquiry into black lung is coming to Emerald and Blackwater.

Local Partners

Emergency dashboard provides single point of truth

The Central Highlands Regional Council has launched a new online emergency management dashboard providing a one stop shop for information and updates.

Santa is coming to Isaac libraries

CHRISTMAS CRAFT: Join in the special Story Time sessions at Isaac Libraries December 5 to 9 and create your own Christmas craft like Sophia, Evie and Ashley Williams.

Santa is dropping in to the libraries in the Isaac Region.

Warm up your voice for the Rotary Carols

The Rotary Carols by Candlelight is on this Sunday.

The Central Highlands Rotary Carols is on this weekend.

Man builds playground entirely out of packing tape

Artist Eric Lennartson is in the process of completing his huge tape sculpture at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

VIDEO:And here's where you can play on it.

Taylor Lautner 'spotted smooching co-star'

Taylor Lautner has been romantically linked to Billie Lourd

David Beckham's tattoos come to life for UNICEF campaign

David Beckham has called for an end to violence against children

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

Leo designs shocker tattoo for Tom Hardy after lost bet

Leonardo DiCaprio has designed a new tattoo for Tom Hardy

Hollywood star at home on the Coffs Coast

FEELING LUCKY, SON?: Scott Eastwood visited the Coffs Coast

Guess which Hollywood star has been seen around the Coffs Coast?

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Prices jump in trio of mining towns

THE boost in coal prices in the past six months has triggered a house price jump in at least three mining towns in Central Queensland.

Boost in coal prices triggers a market turnaround

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!