The countdown is on to one of our favourite days of the year - the Bedgerabong Picnic Races - and the incredible rural community has been hard at work to make it all happen once again.
Bedgerabong has had more than its share of challenges this summer, flooding arriving on the eve of what many had hoped would be a bumper harvest, yet the volunteers of the picnic race committee and grounds trust are hard at work to prepare for the big day.
President Nathan Clarke says preparations for the February 12 picnic meeting are going well - and ticket sales have got away to a solid start.
With a view to making the event COVID-safe for patrons, they are planning for about 2000 people on course with all tickets needing to be pre-booked.
Mr Clarke says race goers can once again look forward to a great day out: a six-race program; Fashions on the Field; footraces on track once the horses are finished; and live music from Foxxy Cleopatra to take the night out.
There's plenty of space on the picturesque Bedgerabong grounds - which the committee members have been hard at work mowing - and he's urging people to take the chance to catch up with friends and neighbours in a relaxed and friendly outdoor atmosphere.
Mr Clarke says every effort is being made to help people feel safe about coming: there is free parking on site if you'd like to drive yourself and the buses will run to the end of the night, the committee wants to make sure everyone gets home safely.
"This is a day for people to come and have a great day," he said. "Help us celebrate the great hard work the committee do each year."
Mr Clarke said organisers are particularly thankful for the sponsors who have come forward this year: there's a brand new Cup sponsor on board in Total Wear Solutions.
"This year has been unbelievable, we're very grateful to the businesses: without your support we wouldn't be able to operate," he said.
Those thanks also extended to his entire committee.
"Without their drive and hard work, their determination and their willingness to front up each year and do it all again, it wouldn't be possible," Mr Clarke said.
Both grounds and track have benefited from the rain we've had this summer.
"The track is looking good, it got a little bit of a renovation after last year," Mr Clarke said.
"It's looking sensational. There's good coverage on the back straight."
As for the grounds, it's "been a job and a half" mowing but we're a long way ahead compared to the brutal drought years.
Fashions on the Field categories for 2022 are:
Judging will commence after Race 2. Please make your way to the Stage next to the bar for initial judging. Final judging and the winners presentation will be held immediately after Race 3 on the track. Listen for announcements throughout the day.
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