August 18, 2015
It’s taken six years, two floods and a drought to get there, but Boondooma Homestead’s annual “Scots In The Bush Festival” could finally be said to have arrived this year.
The Festival chalked up a record of 229 campers for this year’s three-day event, along with another “40 or 50” caravans carrying visiting musicians and volunteer helpers packing into the grounds.
And on Saturday, another 70 daytrippers paid their admission at the gate to join in the fun.
The Festival is a celebration of all things Celtic and is nominally set up to acknowledge the three Scots who settled in the area in 1842 and went on to found Boondooma Station, which once encompassed 1000 sq miles and stretched from Proston to Brovinia Creek in the north, Darr Creek to the south and west to the Great Dividing Range.
These days, though, the Festival is one of the Homestead’s major annual fund-raisers and helps contribute towards the property’s on-going maintenance and restoration work.
This year guests enjoyed three nights and two full days of entertainment in the undercover concert area and outside in the grounds.
The Festival opened on Friday night with evening entertainment and a camp-oven dinner prepared by the Homestead’s volunteers.
On Saturday morning, the Festival was officially opened by Cr Kathy Duff, who cut a tartan ribbon … and then inspected kilt lengths to ensure everything was where it should be.
This was followed soon afterwards by a “Gathering Of The Clans” which saw a record 50 different tartans represented in this year’s line-up, with many participants dressed to the nines in traditional Scottish costumes.
In the afternoon, guests moved outside onto the Homestead’s lawns for the Highland Games which included foot races, haggis throws, shot put and caber tossing. Prizes ranged from ice blocks to $25.
Then it was back indoors for lively Scottish dancing and many more hours of entertainment, which stretched through until late the following day.
Organisers said they were delighted with this year’s attendance figures.
“It’s a really great event,” stallholder Ray Ellington, from Celtic Thunder, told southburnett.com.au
“We come here every year and I think it’s one of the best Celtic festivals in the country. Everyone is relaxed, it’s a great environment and I’ve seen it get bigger from one year to the next.
“I think it can only keep growing.”