Babinda Harvest Festival was first held on the 27th of October 1962, however back then it was known as the Babinda Sugar Harvest Festival and was presented by the Bellenden Kerr Junior Farmers. Initially the street procession was held at 7.30pm and the Sugar Princess was crowned at 9pm in the Memorial Hall. Entrants in the Sugar Princess quest came from Tully to Mossman and everywhere in between. Babinda’s own Joan Arnold (nee Dickson) claimed the title of the very first Sugar Princess. The day after the Festival an afternoon of water sports was held at the Russell River by the Russell River Water Sports Club.
Bellenden Kerr Rural Youth took charge of the Festival held on the 29th of October 1966, then renamed as the Babinda Sugar Festival. The street procession began at Babinda Show Grounds (now known as Bill Wakeham Park), and the Festival was held at ANZAC Park. Not only was there a prize for the Sugar Queen, crowned by Former Test Cricketer Wally Grout, second and third prizes were given out as well. A dance was also held at the Hall, with entertainment from Michael & the Mustangs and Blu-Stars Orchestra. The Festival was televised by ‘FNQ Channel 10 – Cairns’, and broadcast by Cairns radio station 4CA.
Our Festival has gone through many changes including our name, but in 1987 we finally settled on the ‘Babinda Harvest Festival’