Iconic Warwick event returns in 2017
HEARTS around the Rose City broke when two of the region's most loved events - the Rodeo street parade and the Mardi Gras -were cancelled last year. But the good news is one has returned, with the parade set to make a grand comeback.
Southern Downs councillor Yve Stocks said feedback from the community supported the return of the parade.
Cr Stocks confirmed the long-running Friday night Mardi Gras would not be revived.
"We brought back the parade because of the amount of feedback we received from the community," she said.
"But there wasn't the interest for the Mardi Gras. With the growth of the rodeo and the huge amount of rides and attractions that are available down at the showgrounds on the Friday night, it didn't make sense to duplicate it all - the rodeo is the place to be."
Cr Stocks said she was delighted to see the parade brought back.
"It's a wonderful event for everyone to get involved in of all ages," she said.
"We hope it'll be full of fun and colour and that the Warwick community will get behind it."
The theme of the 2017 parade will be Denim and Diamonds, which is also the theme for the Rodeo Queen Quest. Parade floats will be judged across four categories, each with a $500 prize for the winner: best in theme; best school exhibit; best business and commercial; best club, sporting or other organisation; as well as a $100 prize for best decorated bike for the kids.
The event will take place on Saturday, October 28, from 10am, two hours earlier than in previous years to avoid the heat of the day.
The route has also changed. The parade floats will now marshal in Alice St and head up Palmerin St to Fitzroy St, before turning at the roundabout to make the return journey to Alice St.
Cr Stocks said this would ensure minimal disruption to business and traffic in the CBD. "The northern end of Palmerin St will be closed for the duration of the parade, but centre of town will not be affected," she said.
"And as an added bonus for the crowds, the huge Warwick Potters Rodeo Markets will also be on at the same time, so it will be a huge day in Warwick, with plenty to do and see before everyone can head back down to the rodeo for the afternoon and evening events."
Float entry forms are available from the Warwick Visitor Information Centre or www.sdrc.qld.gov.au.
Rodeo Queens return to lead the street parade
MAKING their return in 2017 as leaders of the Rodeo street parade will be the rodeo queens and queen quest entrants.
Warwick Rodeo Queen Quest co-ordinator Kelli Mullins said she was thrilled the parade was back on the calendar.
"We're very much looking to be involved with the parade, after the break last year," she said.
"The Warwick Rodeo Queen and entrants will take par and maybe the rodeo princesses as well.
"And if their schedules allow it maybe even Miss Rodeo Australia Emma Diecke and Miss Rodeo Canada Ali Mullin will be a part of it."
Miss Mullins said the Queens were the ambassadors for the rodeo, the Show and Rodeo Society and for the region.
"So it's really important for them to be involved in the parade," she said.
"It's a chance for them to say hello to the community and it's great for the community to see them as well, as not every family gets to go to the rodeo.
"The entrants, some of our girls involved this year have aspired to be rodeo queens for many years, so it's great for them to get involved and out into the community during the parade."