12 July, 2023
Saddle up for a big weekend of rodeo fun
ALL country roads lead to Mareeba this weekend, with thousands of people flocking to Kerribee Park to witness some of the rankest bulls, quickest horses, best arts and crafts and death-defying rides.
The Mareeba Rodeo has been described by many as one of the biggest and best, attracting the likes of the best bull riders, barrel racers and showgoers from across Australia, with this year’s event expected to attract around 10,000 people.
For the first time since Covid cancelled the rodeo entirely, the popular event will be going back to two days, with the town em- bracing the second day once again.
“The rodeo has been going for a long time and traditionally, it is the major event on the Tablelands and from a rodeo point of view it is a major event on the ABCRA calendar,” Mareeba Rodeo Association president Peter Brown said.
“In the past we have had to go back to one day due to Covid but this year, we are back with all the major events including the State of Origin which is pretty exciting.”
This year there is a jam-packed rodeo program for anyone and everyone to enjoy.
Sideshow alley will be in full swing, with rides and games for all ages to enjoy whilst the agricultural show will display the talents of the regions craftiest people from 9am until 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Animal lovers can enjoy a cuddle with an alpaca or a donkey all weekend with Melville’s Animal Farm, whilst the woodchopers will be in full swing from 11am on Saturday.
This year, rodeo-goers will also be able to enjoy a drink in the stands, after the rodeo association moved the location of the the bar.
“We have a full bar for anyone who wants a sherbet or two and this year we have
changed how the bar is set up so you can actually sit in the stands and have a drink,” Mr Brown said.
“So, whilst mum and the kids are looking around the rodeo grounds you can sneak a few brews in and watch the action.”
Saturday night will kick off with the Air- time FMX motorbike act, who will kick up the dust showcasing jaw-dropping stunts in the arena.
The State of Origin will then kick off with riders from Queensland and New South Wales going head-to-head from 8pm in the arena, with Mr Brown promising it to be a crowd favourite.
From there, a grand parade will kick off in the arena with the official crowning of the Rodeo Queen and Princess and then a cabaret with local band Careless.
On Sunday, the action kicks off again with bull and bronc rides, barrel racing and more. With only a few days to go, Mr Brown is encouraging the town to get into rodeo spirit and to buy tickets online to avoid missing out. “Be a part of the festivities. The rodeo comes around once a year and, in my opinion, is the best rodeo in Australia,” he said.
“We have some of the best facilities in the country and it is awesome to just be involved whether that is dressing up your business for the week, being a part of the downtown parade or nominating a queen.
“Buy tickets online – they are cheaper, and you don’t have to wait in a 50 mile long line because you get zapped at the entry and just go through.
“Everything is lining up to be a great event this year, we have the best attraction and without the support of the community, we wouldn’t be able to put on an event like this – it’s just locals supporting locals.”
Tickets are available to purchase at www. mareebarodeo.com.au/tickets