As a girl I would look forward with great anticipation to our annual spring festival. It was such a special occasion, one which mirrored so much that was wonderful about our community.
As Mayor, not much has changed! I feel what we now call RedFest is part of our heritage, something that is indelibly imprinted on our community DNA.
There have been quite a few tonnes of strawberries devoured since the Redlands’ very first official strawberry festival back in 1953. And both the city and festival have changed much since what was a small fundraiser to make good use of strawberries during a glut, was revived as the Strawberry Festival in 1958.
Back then, Alexandra Hills had yet to arrive, Capalaba and Birkdale were still more than a decade away from having their own shopping centres, and flying boats were still operating out of Redland Bay.
We have come a long way but what hasn’t changed is the pride of place RedFest holds in the collective hearts of the Redlands.
It is our longest-running, home-grown community event and it continues to offer locals that little bit of magic that I have always cherished.
The festival is not just about entertainment, food and excitement: it is about family and community – and, to me, that is the essence of the Redlands.
It is a three-day celebration of and for Redlanders, which is just as tantalising now as it was for youngsters and their parents in decades past.
Now, just one year before its diamond anniversary, it remains an enchanting - and very good value - family showcase.
On behalf of all Redlanders, I sincerely thank all those who have worked so hard over the past six decades to make Redfest the premier event it has become.