One of the Riverina’s most unique festivals, the Good Old Days, is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary on October 5-6 with a tribute to the nation building teams.
The working draught animals represented in the tribute will be Clydesdales, Australian Draught horses, bullocks, camels, donkeys and mules.
To be held at the Barellan showground, the Good Old Days Festival draws up to 8000 visitors from around Australia keen to experience the sights and sounds of yesteryear.
A highlight for visitors is seeing up to 32 working heavy horses harnessed to a wool wagon – one of the biggest number ever seen in public in modern times – alongside a large bullock team.
The Festival is a not-for-profit event run by volunteers and funds are returned to the Barellan community for infrastructure projects.
This year’s program will include a Furphy Festival, camp oven under the stars, live music, market stalls, sheaf tossing, camel races and rides, blade shearing, cow milking, butter churning and cheese making, working yard dogs, dog jump, a working blacksmith, rope making, animal nursery, Clydesdale weight pull, whip cracking and grand parade.
Riders from Grong Grong, Wagga Wagga and Adelong will stage a musical ride and skill-at-arms display in full Australia Light Horse uniform, plus a static display of a Light Horse camp in World War I.
Early farming practices to be showcased include horse and bullock drawn ploughs, binders, wool wagons and a mallee roller.
The Back Block Bards will open the festival with bush poetry around a country breakfast on the Saturday, and will perform again on the Sunday morning.
Local band Sticky Fingers will provide the entertainment throughout the day while Happy Hour will entertain during the camp-oven dinner under the stars on Saturday night for around 600 people.
Eight camp ovens with a commemorative 10th anniversary lid will be specially made by the Billman’s Foundry for the festival.
Local cooks will be hard at work making scones for the hungry visitors who can wash them down with the Festival’s own Barellan Beer, brewed using locally grown barley.
Ringmaster Tim Peel, assisted by Paul Brooks, will oversee the ring events on Saturday for led, working and harness classes, catering for Clydesdales and other draught horse breeds.
This will be followed on the Sunday from 10am by a ploughing contest for any draught animal in single or pairs pulling a single furrow plough.
New for this year is a bullock cueing, or shoeing, competition to be held on Saturday after the grand parade.
Master harness maker Noel Wiltshire will be demonstrating the skilful art of whip making while Ernie Davis, of Barellan, will show the crowd how rope was made a century ago.
Australian champion shearer Lionel Garner, of Hay, along with Bruce Rollinson, Jerilderie, will demonstrate blade shearing across the weekend.
Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke will officially open the festival at 11am on Saturday, October 5.
For more details on the festival visit www.barellanclydesdales.com.au