An exciting and contemporary twist on a cherished tradition is being launched this year.  

The National Cherry Festival Queen/King competition is embracing a modern and streamlined approach, starting with inviting participants to choose their preferred title: Cherry Queen, Cherry King, or the brand-new title of Cherry Ambassador.

The competition will now officially be known as the Cherry Queen/King/Ambassador Competition.

Our past Kings and Queens have always been outstanding ambassadors for our towns and region. With the addition of the ‘Ambassador’ title, contestants will now have the freedom to choose how they are viewed in the role. Committee President, Mrs. Caitlin Sheehan, expressed her enthusiasm for this welcomed change. “The committee has been engaged in constructive discussions about the competition’s title, and we wholeheartedly welcome the refreshing new name,” she stated.

In response to community feedback and to further enhance the competition’s significance, we are also excited to announce that there will simply be one ultimate winner this year. The title of ‘Charity Queen’ has been thoughtfully retired. However, the charity component of the competition will remain a strong and integral part of the competition. Each entrant will have the opportunity to increase their overall judging score by supporting a local charity, not-for-profit community-based club, or service provider in the Hilltops Region. Additionally, this year the breakdown of funds raised will change from a 60/40 split to a 70/30 split, meaning that this year 70% of funds raised will go to the participant’s chosen charity and 30% towards covering the costs of holding the National Cherry Festival.

The decision to have a single title holder has been met with widespread approval, stemming from heartfelt discussions between the committee members and previous competition winners.

This competition aims to select an extraordinary advocate who will proudly represent not only Young but the entire Hilltops Region. The crowned winner will assume their distinguished role from the crowning ceremony in December, continuing their representation in the region throughout the following year.

The Cherry Queen/King/Ambassador Competition is now open to all individuals residing in the Hilltops region, aged 18 years and above.

For more information about the competition, download the National Cherry Festival King/Queen/Ambassador Competition Guide including nomination and entry forms or drop into the Visitor Information Centre in Young to collect a printed copy. You can also contact us by emailing or calling 1800 628 233.  

What is the Significance of this long standing competition?

2019 Cherry King David Munnerley (left, in green) & Charity Queen Laura Ower (right, in green).

The Cherry Queen/ King/Ambassador Competition has been one of the most important and cherished aspects of the National Cherry Festival over the years, adding a meaningful and altruistic to the festivities. Here are several key reasons why this competition has been a standout feature of the festival:

Community Engagement: The competition actively involves the local community, allowing participants to connect deeply with the region they represent and contribute to its welfare. It fosters a sense of belonging and local pride, bringing people together to support each other’s causes.

Tourism & Increased Awareness of the Region: Attracts people to the Hilltops Region allowing them to experience and learn about the region as they boost the economy through the increased population over the weekend.

Philanthropy: By selecting a local charity or not-for-profit organisation to support, the competition emphasizes the spirit of giving back to the community. It has become a beacon of charitable efforts, inspiring others to contribute positively to causes close to their hearts.

Personal Growth: For entrants, the competition offers a valuable platform to grow as individuals. Through various events and interactions, participants develop confidence, leadership skills, and a greater understanding of community dynamics.

Ambassadorship: The Cherry Queen/King/Ambassador title bestows an ambassadorial role upon the winner, representing the Young and Hilltops Region with grace and charisma. This role helps raise awareness of the region and its cherries, both locally and beyond.

Continued Tradition: The competition has become an integral part of the festival’s heritage, reflecting the festival’s commitment to celebrating cherries, community, and compassion. Its long-standing presence has left a positive and lasting impact on the festival’s legacy.

The Cherry Queen/King/Ambassador Competition continues to exemplify the true spirit of the National Cherry Festival, embodying the values of kindness, generosity, and community spirit that are at the core of this much-loved event.   

Since 1949, as part of the National Cherry Festival there is the Cherry King and Queen Competition. Over the years, there has been some minor changes to this competiton, but the general gist of it is to raise funds for a local charity and immerse yourself into the Young and Hilltops communities. 

The competition is one of the best known features of the festival, and has been instrumental in raising funds for local charities and organisations. 

The National Cherry Festival Committee have compiled a list of past Cherry Kings and Queens. The committee understand that this list may not be 100% accurate and ask that if there is inaccurate information in the list, please contact the Young Visitor Information Centre on 1800 628 233 or


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