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Great times at Bourke Easter Festival

Photo TWH

The Back O’Bourke Easter Festival lived up to its name, with former Bourkeites making the trip to be with friends and family and take part in a swag of events over the weekend.

With perfect weather, lush paddocks, and a full, flowing river, it was Bourke’s time to shine.

According to many, it was a thoroughly enjoyable weekend, with an estimated two and a half thousand people in the town to catch up with friends and family, take part in a range of uniquely outback activities or to just see and experience ‘the Back O’Bourke’ for themselves.

Bourke Council Manager of Corporate Services, Leonie Brown, said there was a broad mix of people, from young families to grey nomads, but what she noticed above all was the number of former Bourke residents who made the trip home.

“It was a great weekend and we had so many people coming back to town and taking part in so many different activities and experiences,” Leonie said.

“The weekend began with the Colour Run on Good Friday morning which attracted 300 entrants for the traditional colour run along the levee bank to the Back O’Bourke Exhibition Centre and back to the Wal Mitchell Wharf Precinct.

“Participants of all ages ran, walked, or pushed their prams along the colour and water-soaked route, and lots of fun was had by all.

For those less energetic, there were Jandra river tours with expert commentary from the Outback Historian, Paul Roe, and the thrill of seeing the paddleboat rolling, and the river flowing, was enough to attract locals as well as visitors. Paul also conducted Bourke Cemetery tours each day, providing a unique insight into the history of the outback.

On Friday afternoon, an enthusiastic crowd turned out to see local bard and singer-songwriter Andrew Hull and his band The Yabby Traps perform, along with Neil Murray and a highly respected line-up of country blues stars at the Acoustic music festival at the Back O’Bourke Exhibition Centre.

Saturday morning kicked off with the park run with a field of 26 entrants, and later in the morning a large crowd lined Oxley Street for the annual street parade followed by a hotly contested wool bale rolling event. The enthusiasm was high with some vocal support from the crowd. Isaac Ford and Mel Milgate provided the expert and entertaining commentary for the morning.

Bourke Council spokesperson Leonie Brown it was great to see all the old machinery and the historic vehicles, plus the main attraction Plugger Bowden’s restored Mack Truck, which made a special trip from Victoria to Bourke this year.

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