The Queen isn't the only one celebrating a platinum jubilee in 2022.
Blackheath's Rhododendron Festival is also commemorating 70 years since the first festival was held in 1953.
And that fact may have have worked in the festival's favour when an application was submitted for a grant from the Australian government's 'planting trees for the Queen's jubilee program'.
As a successful grant recipient, the festival now has $17,000 to fulfil its plan for an avenue of trees down Govetts Leap Road in honour of previous festival queens/princesses.
Festival president, Elizabeth Giddey, said: "Our festival has been looking for a suitable project to contribute to the town, both visually and economically, along with something that will enhance the social and cultural dynamic of Blackheath and the Upper Blue Mountains."
The festival has worked with council and with Blackheath's Streetscape committee to come up with a plan for a grand row of tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera) on the northern side and the smaller trident maples (Acer buergerianum) on the other side under the power lines.
Both are deciduous species which colour up spectacularly in autumn and will provide valuable summer shade and winter sun.
They also have a single trunk so there will be no lower branches which might interfere with people trying to get out of their parked cars.
The idea, said Ms Giddey, is to plant a tree in honour of each of the princesses who have been crowned at each of the past Rhododendron Festivals.
And in each future year, during the festival, another will be planted in the row by whoever is the latest crowned figure (who may be a princess but could also be a prince or, as happened in 2019, an entire rhodo royal family).
Blackheath's Rhododendron Festival is held on the first weekend in November. It began in 1953 as a means to fund the building of the town's community hall. In subsequent years, funds raised have been used to support a range of local projects and causes, including emergency services, the RSL, sporting clubs, youth clubs and kindergartens.
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