My warmest welcome is extended to the tens of thousands of people taking the opportunity to enjoy the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Iconic Apple & Grape Harvest Festival. Welcome to the festival and if you are a traveller to the district, please enjoy this wonderful part of Queensland.
Fifty years of festivals is certainly a milestone to be proud of as a district. There are many festivals that come and go but the Apple & Grape has continued to succeed. I am proud to have been part of the festival since 1975 but more proud to lead the team as President for 2016. The team of 18 Directors who have worked so hard for the last 2 years are our major contributors to festival success. I applaud each of you and the strong network of volunteers who make this festival possible.
We have been fortunate to have gained the support of eight Young Ambassadors. The tireless efforts by these Ambassadors, their sponsors, families and friends allows the festival committee to provide a major program of events for all to enjoy. I know the return reward to ambassadors is a whole new set of life-skills earned through development programs and service to community. Thank you to all and with the experiences gained, you will become lifelong ambassadors for this great district.
The strong support by sponsors shows their faith held in this committee to deliver a quality festival. Thank you to the sponsors for your support and I know you will be extremely satisfied with the huge contribution we have all made to make this 2016 festival an outstanding success.
To help celebrate the 50th Anniversary, Queens and Young Ambassadors from 1966 will join us as well as Queens of the former Apple Blossom Carnivals 1955-1964. A 10-day program has been reintroduced, the Kinzan Drumming Band from Shiwa Japan will visit our shores, Australian National Buskers will be here, a whole new program of events has been prepared by the committee and the rest is all for you to enjoy. Thank you for supporting the Apple & Grape Harvest Festival. Please enjoy, take away great memories and I invite you to return again one day to this great region.