THE 2013 Jacaranda Queen Cerene Lowe says it's now time to enjoy her role as Grafton's ambassador for the next 12 months.

Queen Cerene was crowned in front a big crowd in Market Square on Saturday night, the festival guest of honour Dr Allan Tyson placing the crown on the head of the 79th Jacaranda Queen.

The 2013 Jacaranda Princess was former Junior Jacaranda Queen Chloe Hackett and the Holiday Princess for 2013 is Christie Paterson. The Holiday Princess runner-up was Amy Freeman.

Ms Lowe said becoming a Jacaranda Queen fulfilled a childhood dream.

"Ever since I was little I've been coming to Jacaranda and watching the queen crownings," she said.

"I'd always wondered what it would be like to be up there on stage, wearing the crown."

Ms Lowe said she is looking forward to the week over festivities for the Jacaranda Festival.

"There's so much on and it's going to be so exciting getting round to all the events that are on in the community," she said.

She said the quest had been a great benefit for her.

"I learned so many life skills in the past year," she said.

"A year ago I never thought I would have been able to get up and speak in front of a crowd like was here tonight.

"I was nervous, but because of all the fundraisers and other events where I've had to speak, I have the confidence now I can do it." Ms Lowe said her work mates at the Village Green Hotel, which sponsored her quest had been fantastic.

"They were always egging me on and helping me out," she said.

As the 2008 Junior Jacaranda Queen, newly crowned Jacaranda Princess Chloe Hackett is on familiar territory.

"When I was named the Jacaranda Princess I was just as shocked as when I was named Junior Queen," she said.

"When I was a junior contestant I always look up to the senior girls. Now that's what I want, to be a role model for the younger girls."

Holiday Princess Christie Paterson said her crowning was one of the happiest moments of her life.



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