A half-century of festival history turned full circle on Saturday as Brittany Bryant was crowned Lilac queen.
The 22-year-old could hardly contain her excitement as Mayor Bob Kirk announced the honour at Saturday's official opening of the 70th Lilac City Festival.
It came 50 years to the day after Brittany's grandmother, Dianna Bryant (nee Smith), was named Lilac Queen.
"It's very special for my family and me and I'm extremely grateful for all the support," she said.
"Nan would be very proud. She spoke to me about being queen and how she loved the girls she was up against. I did too; Jenna and Shanay are amazing people."
Brittany told The Post she was like her grandmother - shy and retiring - but she hoped the year ahead would raise her confidence levels.
She raised $7030, 40 per cent of which will go to Goulburn Headspace and the remainder to the festival committee to fund the three-day event. It was the same amount her grandmother raised.
Her fellow candidates, Shanay Little and Jenna D'Apice, raised $5010 and $3750 respectively. Their chosen charities, Mission Australia and Goulburn Relay for Life, will also receive 40pc of their proceeds.
Brittany said her grandmother and stepmother encouraged her to run for the honour.
"I really wanted to do it for nan and to keep up the tradition," she said.
"I've always loved Lilac time, the street procession, the activities, the colour and everything about it."
Headspace is close to her heart. Brittany said the service had helped her and she encouraged anyone needing help to reach out to the team.
"If you do, you should be proud of yourself," she said.
"They are kind and beautiful people and they really get to you."
This year's virtual festival, screened on the event's Facebook page due to COVID restrictions, was a far cry from Dianna Bryant's experience.
But the Marulan woman well understood why her granddaughter "nearly fainted" when she was announced as Lilac Queen.
"I'm absolutely so proud of her. She rang and told me and she was so excited," she said.
"It is a shock to win...I still remember how I felt when I won. If I hadn't been sitting down I would have fallen on the floor. I felt like a blob of jelly on a plate."
In the lead-up to the 1971 crowning, Dianna Smith, as she was then known, and her committee held raffles, fetes, barbecues and more to raise $7000.
Colleagues at her workplace, Supertex, and her mother made stuffed toys for raffles and decorations for the Lilac float. There were fundraising dances at Windellama and Bungonia and much more.
"You can't do these things without the support of family and your committee. I was so proud of the Supertex team," she said.
Mrs Bryant recalled a memorable year of attending community events, meeting people like actor Leonard Thiele and Miss Australia 1971, June Wright.
Soon after her win, she married Richard Bryant and honeymooned on the cruise trip she had won for being Lilac Queen.
In another happy coincidence, Brittany will marry her partner, Bradley Harris, in March.
Mrs Bryant said it was her granddaughter's time to shine.
"I said to her that Goulburn owns you for the next 12 months. Give it your best shot and love every minute. It can't be taken away from you and will stay with you for the rest of your life," she said.
Brittany won an Olivia Jane photography session and a trip for two to Queensland for a week, including flights and accommodation.
She told The Post she was looking forward to the year ahead.
"I hope one day that my little sisters, Stella and Maci, can continue on the tradition," she said.
Organisers thanked Lilac queen of the past two years, April Watson, for being a "wonderful ambassador for the city."
Patron and former Goulburn City Mayor, Tony Lamarra, spoke about the event's history and the way it promoted the area and united community.
Abel Collis was named Lilac Festival prince and Hannah Orr as princess. The Lilac baby was 'Ezekial,' born on October 1 at Goulburn Base Hospital.
Committee vice-president Dan Strickland said staging a virtual event had its challenges but the community had responded well to the Facebook page, which was screening the festival activities and interviews.
The celebrations continue on Sunday with screening of a church service at 10am, a pre-recorded musical performance by Mulwaree High School at 11am, the announcement of business window display winners at noon and the announcement of garden competition winners at 2pm.
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