Whats On

Rodeo carnival takes on authentic country focus

THIS year's rodeo street carnival, a long-standing Warwick tradition, will be brimming with exciting revamped events and a classic carnival atmosphere.

Carnival organisers Warwick Tourism & Events hope to provide an evening to remember for families with children of all ages without breaking the bank.

Warwick Tourism & Events CEO Tracy Vellacott said carnival-goers would notice the line-up of activities and entertainment was slightly different from previous years.

"We've decided to give the street carnival a little makeover this year as we bring in something new to keep children of all ages entertained," Mrs Vellacott said.

"The intention is to take the mardi-gras back to authentic country activities, reconnecting locals and visitors with the romance of Australian rodeo and campdraft, as well as providing families with a free family-friendly event."

"Don't miss the outdoor cinema of rodeo footage, roping opportunities with the Rodeo Heritage Centre's roping steer, as well as a new children's rodeo clown dress-up competition.

"All rough-riding rodeo clowns are encouraged to register in front of the town hall for free at 5.45pm, in time for judging at 6pm," Mrs Vellacott said.

Mrs Vellacott was full of praise for members of the Warwick Men's Shed, who have been hard at work making a "cowboy" photo board capturing all the fun of the festival, as well as a bucking bull and pony for children to have their picture taken on. She encouraged photograph-sharing on Warwick Tourism & Events' Facebook and Instagram pages (#SavourWarwick #WarwickRodeo).

For rodeo enthusiasts keen to know how they would handle eight seconds on a more life-like high-flying bull, the mechanical bull will be wired up for action, and this year, a milking cow will offer more hilarious fun.

The entertaining and much-loved Buchner Cup celebrity horse race will also get a facelift and take a more prominent position in the program.

"The main street will be transformed into a classic racecourse, with heats starting at 6.45pm, immediately followed by a grand final," she said.

Mrs Vellacott said all the favourite attractions patrons knew and loved would still be part of the Friday night carnival.

"Although we are adding to the line-up this year, there will still be a chance to snap up some show bags, go on a ride that gets the adrenaline pumping and, of course, indulge in some carnival food," she said.

Norma O'Hara Murphy, winner of a National Songwriting Award and a Golden Guitar, will be performing.

She has been creating her brand of rodeo-inspired music for more than 30 years.

No stranger to life on the range, her grandparents pioneered the Murray Valley region in Victoria. Norma was born and bred in the bush. Her love for horses saw her leave school at 15 to spend several years as a jillaroo in the Riverina. During these early years, her travels helped her gather some wonderful material and stories for future songs.

The Rose & Rodeo street carnival starts at 6pm on Friday, October 24, in Palmerin St.

Topics:  carnival, mardi gras, rodeo, warwick



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