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About 150 people watched as Alexandra's Esther McKay (76) was crowned at the 22nd annual ceremony yesterday. Margaret Ruffell (81), also of Alexandra, was named runner-up.
Mrs McKay had a long list of community-involvement credentials, but most recently was helping to arrange the Alexandra Musical Society's 60th anniversary performance.
She represented the Otago Girls' High School Ex-girls Association in the competition.
It did not take too much arm-twisting to get her to enter, as was required with some other contestants.
''We were very aware that if we didn't, it wouldn't happen. We need five of us and hopefully we'll make it to 25 years.''
She attended ''too many festivals to mention'' in her 40 years living in the town, she said.
''They haven't changed all that much. It used to be the real blossoms on the floats, but these days we use the crepe paper.''
She ''did not really'' expect to win.
''We're all very, very involved in our community in different ways. It's like the branch of a tree.''
Mrs McKay enjoyed meeting people, which would come in handy at the many blossom festival events she would attend as part of her duties.
Mrs Ruffell, representing the Probus 14 club, said she took a little more convincing.
However, like Mrs McKay, she thought it was important to continue the tradition.
''I'd like more people to come on board and do it though, because it's going to fall apart if we don't. It's not that onerous.''
She volunteered for many groups, including the New Zealand Blind Foundation, Alexandra Wastebusters and Ranui retirement village.
The experience was ''absolutely lovely'', she said.
The other contestants were Shirley Bell, Mary Boyd and Jeanette McKay, all of Alexandra.
The ceremony featured entertainment from local dancers and singers of all ages.