Blossom princesses prepare for their big week

Princesses (from left) Sarah Vilela (Alexandra Musical Society), Alisha Cradock (Breen Construction), Caitlin Turfus (Alexandra Men's Shed), Adriana Mawhinney (Alexandra Volunteer Fire Brigade), Kylie Wilson (The Terrace School), Etta Grant (Alexandra Pri
Princesses (from left) Sarah Vilela (Alexandra Musical Society), Alisha Cradock (Breen Construction), Caitlin Turfus (Alexandra Men's Shed), Adriana Mawhinney (Alexandra Volunteer Fire Brigade), Kylie Wilson (The Terrace School), Etta Grant (Alexandra Primary School) , Caitlin Staples (Alexandra Rotary Club) and Taryn Gray (Combined Lions Clubs) will vie for the Festival Queen's crown. Photo by Donald Lamont.
The countdown is on to the start of the 60th Alexandra Blossom Festival and judging of this year's princesses is already under way.

The eight entrants lined up for an official photo shoot recently and their first official engagement will be the Senior Festival Queen contest on Monday, which heralds the start of the festival.

Each princess will ride on a float built and/or sponsored by the group they represent in the grand procession down Centennial Ave on Saturday, September 24.

''I'm really stoked at how well the festival is shaping up and the effort people have gone to with these floats - there's some real beauties among them,'' event manager Martin McPherson said.

The guest appearance of 29 former Festival Queens would be a special feature at this year's milestone festival, he said.

One or two exciting new elements would add extra colour to this year's float procession but they would remain secret until being unveiled on the day.

Another highlight of the day would be the performance by a ''supergroup'' including Jordan Luck, Peter Urlich and Eddie Rayner - ''three of the greats in the New Zealand music scene'', Mr McPherson said.

''It'll be a combination of The Exponents, Split Enz and Th' Dudes - what could be better than that?''

The day will be rounded off with the float competition prizegiving and crowning of the Festival Queen. 

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