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After 25 years, the Alexandra Blossom Festival Senior Queen competition has a new committee at the reins.

The Clyde and Districts Lions Club has picked up the baton, taking over from the previous committee of founding member Liz Pratt, Billie Tohill and Suzette Battrick.

The trio stepped back from their administrative roles earlier this year.

The annual competition has been a cornerstone event in the Blossom Festival since 1996, with a focus on celebrating the region’s senior women and the significant contributions they make to the community.

Clyde and Districts Lions representative and 2019 senior queen entrant Sue Noble-Adams said the club was inspired to take on the competition in memory of club member Valmai Beeby, the 1959 Blossom Festival queen, who died earlier this year.

“It’s a good thing for the club to do, and it’s a fun thing to do,” Mrs Noble-Adams said.

Preparation is under way for the competition with nominations open.

Mrs Noble-Adams said the competition was an opportunity to celebrate the region’s older women and for them to have a “fun experience”.

“It’s not about beauty or fashion, it’s a way to say thank you, a recognition of what they’ve done in the community.”

Blossom Festival event manager Martin McPherson said he was glad to see the Lions Club pick up the competition.

“The senior queen has been a cornerstone event of the festival for more than two decades, and we are excited for it to continue into a new chapter,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mr McPherson and the festival committee were closely monitoring changes in Covid-19 alert levels in the wake of the recent Covid-19 outbreak.

Decisions regarding the festival going ahead would be made closer to the time as the Government released more information, Mr McPherson said.

“We have been here before so we know we can pull the festival together in a short timeframe if necessary, the groundwork has already been laid.”

It was business as usual with planning. However, festival spending would be limited to reduce the impact of the alert level changes Mr McPherson said.