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Campers Muster At Boondooma

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Ron Southon brought his 1930 A model Ford to this year's Boondooma Muster from his home at Glenwood, near Gympie; the car has also taken him on a touring holiday to Cooktown

May 3, 2016

The South Burnett played host to an extra thousand tourists last week when 415 caravans and RVs packed Boondooma Homestead’s grounds for the annual Spirit Of The Bush Heritage and Bush Balladeers Muster.

Organisers said they were very pleased with attendance numbers, which were only slightly down on last year.

The popular music festival has been held around Anzac Day for the last 16 years and routinely features an average of 50 bush balladeering artists, along with walk-up acts.

Many performers – such as well-known South Burnett balladeer Dean Perrett – are nationally famous.

The Muster normally runs over five days. But this year, because Anzac Day fell on a Monday, it was extended to six.

The historic Homestead also holds an Anzac Day service on April 25 as part of the Muster so guests didn’t miss out on this important national observance.

The real magnet of the event, though, is country music, camp oven cooking, the relaxed camaraderie and camping out.

This year, one new attraction that drew a lot of comment was a steam-driven 1920s Case Traction Engine, which provided visitors with free rides around the Homestead’s grounds.

The engine was brought to the Homestead on a truck by Kingaroy collector Steve Hood, who said the unusual vehicle had been with his family since 1941.

Steve put in 2500 hours restoring the vintage steam engine to full working order, and enjoyed giving visitors a ride on the 90-year-old engine to experience a piece of history that – these days – is usually only found in museum displays.

The Muster also played home to many stalls selling anything from Moffatdale Ridge wines and freshly-brewed coffee to clothing, memorabilia and camp oven cooking accessories.

Bill and Patty Winters, the inventors of the Kingaroy Choofer range of camp ovens manufactured from recycled gas canisters, were another popular new attraction.

Many guests booked in for the entire six days, though there were plenty of day-trippers and weekend visitors too.

The Muster is one of the Homestead’s two major annual fundraisers.

The other is the Scots In The Bush celtic festival, which will be held on August 19-21.

Popular South Burnett balladeer Dean Perrett was one of more than 50 acts who entertained the crowd this year

... so was Jeff Gibson ...

... and the Lex Kay band

Well-known Boondooma Homestead caravan parking supervisor Brownie showed Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff the Homestead's new Polaris and his famous "big stick" for pacifying unruly campers

Kingaroy's Steve Hood with his restored 1920s Case Traction Engine, which has been in his family for the last 75 years; it took Steve 2500 hours to get the engine back to working condition

Steve took guests on steam-powered trips around the grounds

Boondooma Homestead Muster visitor Alice Benfer quickly became a fan!

Boondooma Homestead volunteers Shirley Smith and Valentine Harris caught up on their knitting while they manned the front gate

Kingaroy's Bill and Patty Winters came to the Muster for the first time this year to show off their hand-made Kingaroy Choofers range of camp ovens


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