Junior Queen wants others to have a blast
IF CLAIRE Smidt could sum up her Jacaranda experience in one word, it would be "amazing".
The 14-year-old was introduced to the Jacaranda Junior Queen competition last year through her mum's work at I Scream, which sponsors the event.
"Mum came home with the application, and I thought it would be fun so I said I'd do it," she said.
"It was hard work fund-raising at the start, but then we had the ball and the fun run and all the other good stuff."
Claire was crowned Jacaranda Junior Queen in October.
The teenager said she formed lasting friendships with the five other entrants and had fond memories of the Jacaranda Ball.
"It was the first time we saw each other in our dresses," Claire said.
"You meet heaps of really nice people on the quest... it builds confidence."
With only a month left to nominate for the competition, the committee is on the hunt for junior nominations for the 80th Jacaranda Festival.
To get the message out, Claire and her mum Cathryn will sell Easter raffle tickets at Toast and I Scream on Saturday morning.
"We're just letting everyone know that it's open, and hopefully we can spark a bit of interest," Cathryn said.
The Junior Jacaranda Queen competition is open to girls aged 12-14 years old, who have lived in the Clarence Valley for a minimum of 12 months.
Nomination forms are available from www.jaca randafestival.org.au or from the Jacaranda Festival office, and must be returned to the office at 48 Prince St, Grafton.
Junior Jacaranda Queen candidate nominations close at 4pm on May 12.