IF THERE were any nerves to start, they were quickly shaken off in a flurry of cha cha and two step.
In a meet and greet with a difference, the city’s Queen of Country contestants started Sunday with a rapid burst of linedancing as part of a special orientation day.
Fourteen of the 16 contestants took part in the day, which started with a linedancing class and finished with lunch at Nundle.
Designed as a bonding session for contestants, many of who had never met, the event proved a stellar success, according to organisers.
“It went exceedingly well,” Tamworth sister city committee chairman Tony McCann said.
“They were like old friends by the end of it.”
The day included morning tea at DAG sheep station in Nundle and a lunch at Nundle pub.
Contestants also received a “goodies bag” and were given information about their ambassadorial roles during the Country Music Festival.
Queen quest contestant Courtney Stevenson described it as “an incredible experience”.
“It was absolutely wonderful and they were such a lovely bunch of girls,” Ms Stevenson said.
“It was a lot more relaxed and friendly than I thought it would be and line dancing was a great way to break the ice.”
The quest entrants will help launch the festival proper on Friday at Bicentennial Park at the opening concert.
The queen, princess, and popularly-elected Miss Congeniality, will be announced at the gala crowning next Thursday January 23.
The entrants this year are Lucinda Whitehorn, Teagan Jones, Loretta Paten, Anna Maher, Gemma Hart, Aimee Wright, Taylah Oliver, Kelly Goff, Stephanie Davis, Nicole Whiting, Stevie-Lee Sutherland, Susan Coombs, Adrienne Johnson, Hannah Moxon, Courtney Stevenson and Gillian Burke.