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Easter Festival celebrates return of good times

Excitement is building as the days count down to the Back O’Bourke Easter Festival. This year looks set to be a huge draw card for visitors and locals, keen to celebrate the return of good times.

Organisers have been planning for months and Bourke Council’s Manager of Corporate Services Leonie Brown said all looks set for a fantastic weekend.

“Everything is coming together,” Leonie said. “We had a meeting last week and everything is going ahead as planned.

“We kick off Good Friday morning with the colour run, organised by St Ignatius Parish School; this event starts and ends at the wharf.

“In the evening we have the acoustic music festival at the Back O’Bourke Exhibition Centre, with Neil Murray, Hully and the Yabbie Traps, plus others.

“The music runs from 4-10pm with food available, no alcohol on sale, but you can BYO.

“On Saturday morning we have the activities down the main street, the market in Central Park and the street parade with Plugger Bowden’s truck being the highlight of the event.

“We’ll have wool bale rolling as well, to be held in front of the TAFE building. The upgrade to the main street has meant there is less room for the wool bale rolling, so we’ll hold it opposite Central Park, which is where the markets will be held.

“Joining the parade will be the Edwards family reunion. The Edwards are a very large family in the community, and they will be marching before they head to Cunnamulla to continue their reunion.

“That will keep everyone busy until lunchtime, and in the afternoon we have the Old Boys’ Rugby and the Calcutta at the Port of Bourke on Saturday night, as well as various licensed venues open during the evening.

“The atmosphere is really building, and council staff and contractors are working hard to ensure the town looks great. The main street upgrade including Darling Park, the wharf precinct, and Central Park all look fantastic, and Bob’s gardens look wonderful too.

“They’ve been working hard mowing and whipper-snipping and they’ve also put in a lot of work on the upgrade to the Cenotaph, which looks magic. It will be fantastic to have that ready for Easter and Anzac Day.

“The parkrun will also be held on Saturday morning around the levee bank and that will give runners a great view of the racetrack which is looking green and beautiful,” Leonie said.

Sunday morning will see Bourke set a record with Australia’s biggest Easter egg hunt – valued at $4,000 with lots of eggs to hunt and prizes to be won.

“Registrations can be made at the Exhibition Centre and we hope it goes as well as the last Easter, which was really special with kids sharing their eggs with those who didn’t have any – it was a really great morning.

“Before the Easter eggs, we have the Sunrise service at 6am at Darling Park, always a very special part of the weekend, and then it’s the Picnic Races, the highlight of the weekend.

“There will be buses available to take people to and from the races and after the races there’s a live band and it’s promising to be a fantastic event,” she said.

All events will be run under COVID Safe plans.

“We’ll ask people to register at events for what promises to be a great weekend in Bourke,” Leonie said.

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