HUGS: 2016 Junior Jacaranda Queen Maeve Dougherty, left, and Princess Kate Smith.
HUGS: 2016 Junior Jacaranda Queen Maeve Dougherty, left, and Princess Kate Smith. Adam Hourigan

Junior Jaca Queen celebrates 20 years in style

IT WAS a special year for the Junior Jacaranda Queen competition, its 20th anniversary the focus of this year's quest made even more special with the attendance of the previous junior queens that reigned from its inception in 1997.

After a candle-lit parade by the former title-holder as they took the stage, the inaugural Junior Jacaranda Queen, Krystal Smith, had the honour of announcing the 2016 titles.

Fourteen-year-old Maeve Dougherty was crowned Junior Jacaranda Queen to a cheering crowd.

Miss Dougherty said even though all the girls were prepared she still felt shocked. "I was very shaky as I was walking up to the stage but it's very cool too. Being with all the girls, sharing this with them. I've made lots of new friends and am really excited for the week to come," she said.

Maeve Dougherty is crowned the 2016 Junior Jacaranda Queen by the first Junior Jacaranda Queen Kristel Smith.
Maeve Dougherty is crowned the 2016 Junior Jacaranda Queen by the first Junior Jacaranda Queen Kristel Smith. Adam Hourigan

Junior Jacaranda Princess Kate Smith, also 14, said she couldn't even remember the moment they announced her name. "It was definitely a surprise, I said 'no way' when they said my name. It hasn't really sunk in yet. I'll probably wake up at one in the morning when it hits me and won't get back to sleep," Miss Smith said.

The Jacaranda Party will have a busy week visiting numerous venues and events, greeting visitors each day in Market Square and giving a royal wave at next Saturday's popular Jacaranda Float Procession.



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