Tickets have almost sold out for the Cherry Blossom 'Long Lazy Lunch' which will be held in an orchard at Young on Sunday, 21 September. The luncheon is the official fundraising event for the Cherry Queen entrants in the National Cherry Festival and proceeds from the day are split between the entrants' chosen charities.
Young Shire Council General Manager, Peter Vlatko, announced that the Ambassador of Croatia, Dr Damir Kusen, would be the guest of honour at this year's event. The Ambassador has been invited to attend the event in recognition of the pioneering role played by one of his countrymen in founding Young’s cherry industry over a century ago.
Mr Vlatko said that he and the Mayor of Young, Stuart Freudenstein, were honoured to host Dr Kusen and they were pleased that the significant contribution of Croatian immigrant, Nicolas Jasprizza was being remembered. 'Nicholas Jasprizza was a key figure in the development of Young’s cherry industry and the town’s economy generally. While he came to the area to mine for gold in the 1860’s it was through his tireless experimentation using existing cherry stock that he developed a large and successful commercial cherry holding,' Mr Vlatko said.
'To demonstrate his accomplishment it’s reported that by 1893 he had 100 acres under cherries with 7,000 full grown, 3,000 young and 5,000 nursery stage cherry trees, as well as a 60 acre vineyard. His descendants have also played a major role in the industry over many years right up to recent times,' he added.
Reflecting on the significant contribution of Nicholas Jasprizza to the Young region, Mr Vlatko said Australia had in turn provided opportunity and wealth to countless people who have settled from countries across the world. Mr Vlatko was himself was born in the town of Blato on the Croatian island of Korcula and was brought to Australia by his parents before his first birthday. Today he is the chief executive of the Young Shire Council, which administers a flourishing 2,670 square kilometre region in the heart of south west NSW. Ambassador Kusin’s attendance is expected to be one of the highlights of the ‘Long Lazy Lunch’, which will not only honour the town’s cherry industry founder but will also showcase the Hilltops Region’s food and wine.
A wine tasting will be held at the Hilltops Regional Wine Cellar (at the Visitor Information Centre) prior to the event, giving attendees the opportunity to purchase Hilltops Wine for their own consumption at the Lunch. The menu will use locally grown Hilltops ingredients, with a distinctly Croatian twist. Bookings are essential and the ticket price includes transport to and from the event from the Young Visitor Information Centre, a three course lunch, the wine tasting prior to the lunch, and entertainment.
To book, contact the Young Visitor Information Centre on 02 6382 3394. For information about accommodation and good things to see and do in the area, pop into the Visit Young web site. Public transport options to get you to and from Young are detailed here.
Tell me dear readers, have you ever eaten lunch in a cherry orchard?
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