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The Meet Greet Eat event was well attended. Image: Lynne Mowbray

Jacaranda Festival’s Meet Greet Eat

Lynne Mowbray |

The Grafton Jacaranda Festival held their first official event for the 2019 Grafton Jacaranda Festival, on Sunday.

The Meet Greet Eat community event was held in Market Square in Grafton, to give the public a chance to meet both the senior and junior Jacaranda Queen candidates for the first time.

The 2019 Senior Jacaranda Queen candidates are: Zahli Stevens, Ashleigh Sampson, Angela Bolger, Hayley Hedges, Dana McKew, Ashton Blackadder and Holly Hastings.

Junior Jacaranda Queen candidates: Brigette Jamisedon, Emily-Rose Pulis, Erin Dunkley-Moore, Miriam Taylor, Kira Boulton, Letisha Stevenson, Stella Lydon, Anneka Larkin, Chelsea Hughes, Jessica Redman, Sahara Powell, Jamaica Yager, Maddison Yager and Gabrielle Solway.

2019 Matron of Honour Elect, is Suzanne Campbell.

The candidates were all presented with their Jacaranda sash and tiaras.

Festival manager Mark Blackadder said that the event was designed to introduce the Queen candidates in a relaxed and fun atmosphere where people can mingle and get to know more about them.

The family fun event included something for everyone with jumping castles, slides, games and face painting for the children and a great array of food trucks which dished up cuisine from around the world. Live entertainment on the stage was by father and sons group D’Boyzos, from Nana Glen.

Former Grafton businessman Kim Dahl officially opened the ‘Volkers Bar’ which was named after his great-grandfather Henry Volkers, who introduced the first Jacaranda trees to Grafton.

Mr Dahl said that Henry August Volkers arrived in Queensland (from Germany) in 1856 and settled in Grafton in 1860.

“He was an arboriculturalist, botanist, seedsman and nurseryman,” Mr Dahl said.

“After Grafton was gazetted a municipality, Henry proposed to council that it’s wide thoroughfares could be beautified by planting rows of trees and he advised council that Jacaranda trees would be the most appropriate.

“He saw the Jacarandas when he returned to his homeland Germany and brought back seeds to his nurseries in Grafton and now, as we say, the rest is history,” he said.

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