Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Pit Pony Festival to draw crowds on long weekend

Collinsville will come alive on the long weekend in May with the second annual Pit Pony Festival.

Due to take place over two big days – Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6 – the festival celebrates Collinsville's mining heritage with the iconic Clydesdale, fondly known as "The Pit Pony", taking centre stage in the festivities at the Collinsville Showgrounds.

The first event will be the Festival Street Parade, starting at 9am on Saturday, from the Collinsville Multi-Purpose Health Service, on Garrick Street, and continuing to the Collinsville Showgrounds via Stanley Street.

Categories for the Street Parade include: Best Themed Float; Pit Pony King and Queen (15 years and over); Pit Pony Prince and Princess (8 to 14 years); Pit Pony Tiny Tots and The Best Decorated Bike.

Festival committee vice president Janet Lobegeier, from the Pit Pony Tavern, said there would be plenty going on all weekend.

“The Shiralee Clydesdales will take part in the parade and will be a popular attraction during the weekend with horse and carriage rides available for hire,” she said.

“There will be market stalls under the huge shade shed, with both local and out-of-town stall holders displaying a variety of fresh produce, plants and homemade crafts to mention a few.

“And the Collinsville Community Centre will have an exhibition on display with arts and crafts, fresh produce and horticulture submitted by residents and students in the community.”

The fun just keeps going at the Pit Pony Festival with entertainment for all ages including amusement rides, Laser Skirmish and an animal petting farm.

As the sun goes down on Saturday, there will be fireworks at 7pm, and this is followed by local band The Fox, at 8pm.

Sunday starts early with a Miners Breakfast from 7am, followed by the Bush Poets Competition and then live music with Luella Widt from 4pm.

Tourism Whitsundays General Manager Tash Wheeler said it was great to see Collinsville residents rally around the festival to make it a success.

“After the success of the inaugural Pit Pony Festival last year, it is great to see everyone come together to stage it again this year,” she said.

“Not only does the festival provide entertainment for everyone throughout the long weekend but it also draws visitors to the town and injects money into the local economy.

“Tourism Whitsundays supports regional events by working side by side to understand their needs and placing effort into leveraging publicity and marketing through our channels. This includes writing appealing content for blogs, story angles and the consumer website, as well as media releases to our many contacts and inclusion in our quarterly trade and media news updates.

“Events are also promoted through targeted messaging on our digital assets, including the online events calendar, website promotion, e-newsletters, and posts on our social media channels leading up to the events.

“We would encourage everyone to get out over the long weekend and support the Pit Pony Festival.”

The festival canteen will be open all weekend - from 9am on Saturday to 9pm Sunday - with burgers, chips, hot dogs, hot drinks, water and soft drinks. There will also be a licensed bar open from 1pm onwards on Saturday and Sunday.

For more information, visit the Collinsville Pit Pony Festival Facebook page.

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