A FEW quiet sighs of relief are sure to be heard from hard-working organisers with this year’s Scone and Upper Horse Festival set to be officially opened on Thursday night.
Presentations will be made to sponsors and VIPs at Vinery Stud prior to the first events, the Farriers Competition and Festival Ball, which kick off an action-packed 11-day schedule on Friday.
The usual draw cards have returned, including the Horse Parade, Charity Rodeo, and Scone Cup.
However, there are also several new additions such as Samba dancers for the parade to celebrate the festival’s theme ‘Horses Go To Rio’ and a calendar featuring local residents.
President of the Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival Lee Watts said she believed enthusiasm in this year’s edition had doubled.
“We’ve got new members on the committee and they’ve brought plenty of different angles and ideas,” she said.
“It’s a mammoth effort to put it all together and hope that everything goes right on the day.
“I think the inclusion of the Samba dancers for the parade will really get the crowd going; it’s something a little bit out there but in line with Rio.”
Mrs Watts said the committee had worked to promote the festival as a major tourist attraction.
“Other towns are really getting involved, it’s not just here in Scone,” she said.
“There’s been a lot of promotion and word is getting out there further and further.
“We’ve done a lot of work to try and bring tourists here which, with our current economy, is very important.”
Other major events on during the festival include the Scone Grammar School Fete, Tentpegging, Vaulting, Calcutta, and Yarns Night.
The Festival Ball starts Friday night at Scone Sporties from 7.30pm while grand finale fireworks will take place on Sunday, May 15 at Lake Glenbawn, officially bringing the event to a close.
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