History – Babinda Harvest Festival

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’

Facts – Babinda Harvest Festival

Queens – Babinda Harvest Festival

  • 1962 Joan Dickson (Arnold)
  • 1963 Jannifer Harvey
  • 1964 Kay Mann
  • 1965 Barbara Kingston (Braithwaite)
  • 1966 Desley Downina
  • 1967 Jan Strutton
  • 1968 Rosalina Corradi (Destro)
  • 1969 Susan Omodie (O’Brien)
  • 1970 Diane Fraser
  • 1971 Bianca Prandolini (Jago)
  • 1972 Lorraine Jones
  • 1973 Lyn Lawson (willett)
  • 1974 Francine Camilleri (Henrich)
  • 1975 Lynette Guidice (Bartolo)
  • 1976 Jane Harwood (Ballarino)
  • 1977 Rosanna Torrisi
  • 1978 Marian Prandolini (Ellwood)
  • 1979 Gillian Raddatz
  • 1980 Sheridan Morris
  • 1981 Minnie Bombardieri (Francis)
  • 1982 Maria Nucifora
  • 1983 Amabile Destro
  • 1984 Natalie Mellick (Nash)
  • 1985 Kelli Grant
  • 1986 Anne Dimarco (O’Brien)
  • 1987 Donna Grant (Smith)
  • 1988 NO FESTIVAL
  • 1989 Karen Wilkins (Edgerton)
  • 1990 Juanita Mellick
  • 1991 Sharon Richards (Fisher)
  • 1992 Fiona Bettini (Williams)
  • 1993 Toni Bartlett (Sharpley)
  • 1994 Megan Agius (Keough)
  • 1995 Paula Oliveri (Spokes)
  • 1996 Taleala Wilce (Wilce-Bone)
  • 1997 Kristy St John (Tsakasiris)
  • 1998 Kristy Andrews (Lyons)
  • 1999 Sharyn Anderson (Greenwood)
  • 2000 Aysha Harburn
  • 2001 Many St John (Starkey)
  • 2002 Melina Parisi (Seawright)
  • 2003 Sunni Day
  • 2004 Alison Macklin
  • 2005 Samantha Bormolini
  • 2006 NO FESTIVAL – CYCLONE LARRY
  • 2007 Josephine McCulloch
  • 2008 Karina Kurucz
  • 2009 Taleesa Keily
  • 2010 Sandra Jago
  • 2011 Cheyenne Morris
  • 2012 Kerin Panebianco
  • 2013 Claudia Galea
  • 2014 Rachel Ugarte
  • 2015 Ellie Kelly

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