July 13, 2015
This year’s three-day Raising Hell In Maidenwell provided some unexpected surprises for both guests and the event’s organisers.
One was the record number of caravanners who came along to simply enjoy spending three days camping out on the Maidenwell Sportsgrounds with custom and classic car and caravanning enthusiasts.
Another was the success of a the old-time rock and roll dance held at Maidenwell Hall, which saw more than 64 dancers on the dance-floor until late on Friday night, jiving away to 1950s and 1960s entertainment provided by the South Burnett’s very own Elvis, Jeff Hancox.
A third was the 190 pig-on-a-spit meals hard-working staff at the Maidenwell Hotel served up to guests on Saturday night while Jeff treated the audience to a second performance of his show.
Another was the $455 that a first run Raising Hell In Maidenwell T-shirt raised in the evening’s charity auction, almost double the previous record.
The annual event, which runs from Friday to Sunday around July 4, is celebrating its sixth year at the Sportsgrounds.
It is organised by the South Burnett Gas Guzzlers as a fundraiser for local charities.
The Guzzlers were nominated in this year’s South Burnett Australia Day Awards as one of the region’s most outstanding community organisations, in large measure because of the work they’ve put into building the weekend up.
Motoring enthusiasts can register their vehicles for a public Show’n’Shine on Saturday, or simply come along to look over the many immaculately presented hot rods, customs, classics and vintage caravans on display.
The event also offers live music, knick-knacks and collectibles, food stalls, raffles, engine blow-ups and market stalls, plus entertainment for children; and entry is free thanks to sponsorship from Nanango’s Heritage Community Branch.
Gas Guzzlers spokesman Terry Mackrell said the group were “pretty pleased” with the way this year’s show had gone.
While the number of visitors was slightly down on the Saturday – which the group attributes to the current state of the economy – the Friday night rock and roll dance and Saturday night party at the Maidenwell Hotel turned out to be such crowd pleasers that the Guzzlers have already received advance bookings for 2016.
“We were honestly surprised at the number of people who came just to camp out for three days,” Terry said.
“Up until now most campers were exhibiting their cars or caravans. But this year we had about 50 to 60 people who just came to enjoy the event in its own right. And I reckon if we got another 50 or 60 more we’d be completely packed out.”
Terry was also full of praise for the Maidenwell Sportsgrounds, which were levelled in 2013-14 as a joint project by the Maidenwell Community Group and the South Burnett Regional Council.
“When it was first done it looked like a bit of a mudpit or dustbowl, but as soon as the grass seeding took hold it turned into a perfect venue for us,” he said.
“All it needs now are better power supplies and I think this could become a great venue for all sorts of events, not just ours.”
The Maidenwell Hall may also be another beneficiary of this year’s Raising Hell, because the Friday night dance proved to the group that the hall’s floor is perfect for rock and roll dancing.