Anticipation builds for beefed up festival
THERE are only two days to go until Beef Week arrives and the town's excitement is almost palpable.
The (rightful) Beef Capital of Australia is set to shine once again with this year's NCMC Casino Beef Week festival kicking off on Saturday.
There are plenty of changes for the festival's 37th year, with a new president and new events.
After serving for 10 years on the Beef Week committee, Frank McKey has stepped up into the president's role.
He admitted he was a little nervous ahead of the festival, being his first year as president, but said the Beef Week committee were looking forward to putting on a "fantastic" community event.
Mr McKey acknowledged the hard work of former president Stuart George and said the committee's focus is to "improve Beef Week every year and make the experience a highlight on your social calendar".
He said the 11-day festival commences on Saturday night at Beef Week's official opening dinner, where all Beef Week Queen entrants will be presented, followed by the crowning of the young woman who will represent the community throughout Beef Week and beyond into 2020.
"To our Beef Week Queen entrants, we wish you well and we are sure you will have a great time," Mr McKey said.
This year, there are four outstanding young women representing the region; Shania Carter, Shatarne Newman, Paige Roberts and Hannah Toohey, while the region's men can participate in the hotly-contested Mr Beef competition to claim the coveted bull-horned helmet.
As well as the official opening speeches, Mr McKey said the gala offers live music by Rochelle Lees as well as the opportunity to taste the best produce the Richmond Valley has to offer.
In coming days, the town's CBD will come alive as part of the Casino Chamber dress up competition, and Mr McKey said the committee "encourages all business houses and schools to get involved with window dressing and the parade as we have some great prizes".
He said the Beef Week schedule is jam-packed with more than 100 events, and regardless if you are a local or a visitor, there is something for everyone at Beef Week.
Festival highlights include:
- National busking championships
- Fashion show
- Saleyards and farm tours
- Art exhibition
- Breakfast with the Butchers
- Cow pat lotto and cow milking competition
- Thoroughbred and greyhound racing
- Whip cracking championships
- Mr Beef competition
- Beef industry day