Huge crowds at Bourke for Easter Festival



Leonie Brown, Sarah Barton and Lilly Hand rolling a wool bale. PHOTO TWH

This year’s Back O’Bourke Easter Festival drew crowds as big as those when the first festival kicked off in 2016.

Huge numbers of visitors poured into town and by Good Friday, Festival co-ordinator Mel Milgate knew this was going to be a good year for celebrating all that is Bourke.

There were record numbers from the first event on Good Friday, the Colour Run, to the final big event, the Back O’Bourke Picnic Races, with record numbers taking part, a huge turnover through the gates at the races and the Old Boys football match, throngs of visitors through the Exhibition Centre and cafe all weekend, and one of the biggest crowds seen in Bourke to watch the street parade and wool bale rolling on Saturday morning.

The streets were lined with vehicles and caravans all weekend, accommodation was booked out, and for those four days over Easter, Bourke felt like the centre of the universe.

“Good Friday’s Colour Run is a great way to kick off the Festival and the team at St Ignatius P&F said they had triple their orders for shirts, headbands and sunglasses which sold out before they could take any more nominations for the run,” Mel said.

“It’s all fun and colour, and a great way to kick off the weekend and show what excitement is ahead for the visitors and locals and all the kids and families.

“On Friday we had an amazing afternoon and evening of music out by the billabong with the Sulli-Vans and Kaitlyn Thomas with more than 350 people enjoying the music under the trees – so well done to everyone involved and we would love to get them back for 2023.