PREPARATIONS have begun for the 36th annual Central Highlands Easter Sunflower Festival.
The festival will boast all the usual events, including the Sunflower queen and princess quests and the much-loved Easter Saturday street parade.
The Easter races could also be making a return.
Sunflower Festival co-ordinator Jessamine Crawford said residents could expect plenty of fun for the whole family.
"One of our great highlights is the attendance of our Canadian royal visitors," Jessamine said.
Emerald's sister city Altona also has a sunflower festival and queen quest.
"Their queen attends our festival and our queen attends theirs," Jessamine said.
"I urge anyone to give it a go. Find a local charity that is close to your heart and raise a bit of money for them while meeting new friends and have a lot of fun.
"Who knows, you could be heading to Canada in 2013 for a trip of a lifetime."
Melanie McMaster was crowned Sunflower Queen last year and said the experience was amazing.
"The people I met along my journey were all amazing and it was such a privilege having met them," Melanie said.
"It was certainly a chance of a lifetime and I will never forget it.
"I also look forward to hosting the 2012 Canadian Sunflower Queen and princess in March."
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