A SHORTAGE of girls born in 1995 and 1996 has resulted in a smaller-than-usual cohort of “princesses” vying for the role of Myrtleford Festival Queen.
Seven year 12 students from Marian College will speak at this weekend’s festival opening, practice their dancing at the Savoy Club and attend the Lions Club Festival Ball tomorrow night.
Myrtleford Festival princess co-ordinator Liz Rouse said she thought numbers were a bit down this year because of the dominance of baby boys born 18 or so years go.
While things have changed dramatically since the days the Festival Queen would receive cigarettes as part of her prize, festival organiser Kirk Tabalotny said it was traditional festival events, like the crowning of the Festival Queen tomorrow night, that remained most popular.
Six new activities have been added to the four-day festival, including an amateur soccer competition for players over 45 years and a live reading of children stories by author Noelen Surch.
With more than 60 events in the timetable, from tai chi to cattle sales, Mr Tabalotny said there really was something for everybody.
Retired plumber Nick Tsitimbinis will speak at the Ecumenical Church Service at St Paul’s Anglican Church at 3pm Sunday to encourage more people to join the Myrtleford CFA.
The 77-year-old will talk about the history of the brigade, which had a role as plane spotters during World War II.
Mr Tsitimbinis, who has had both his leg amputated due to diabetes, joined the fire brigade when he was 14 by fudging his age.
He said it was the most rewarding thing he had done in his life.
“You achieve something that you will remember for the rest of your life,” he said.
Visit themyrtlefordfestival.com.au for more information.