Celtic Psychosis was one of many bands that performed at this year's Scots In The Bush, interweaving highland classics with country and western numbers for the benefit of those who'd rather have a hoe-down than a haggis

Teacher Shane Webster came from Bundaberg with no intention of entering the caber toss, and came away the winner
August 23, 2016

They say there are really only two types of people in the world: Scots, and those who wish they were.

Boodooma Homestead was packed out with both on the weekend.

The occasion was the seventh annual Scots In The Bush Festival, a non-stop four day tribute to everything Celtish.

The festival was 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 from Proston to Brovinia Creek, Darr Creek and west to the Great Dividing Range.

While the station itself no longer exists, Boondooma Homestead’s museum and grounds preserve the 174 years of history in between.

And Scots In The Bush is proving to be a great fundraiser to help the Homestead’s volunteers continue to expand and improve one of the region’s most unique tourist attractions.

This year’s Festival featured its biggest line-up of bands to date, and drew its biggest roll-up of festival-goers in response.

By Saturday afternoon the Homestead had 310 vans parked in its grounds and 80-odd day-trippers pass through the admission tent, along with two busloads of visitors, about 30 per cent up on last year.

Organiser Buddy Thomson said that while exact figures probably won’t be known for several days, he was certain this year’s festival had set a new attendance record.

“I’m confident this festival will get to be as big as our Spirit Of The Bush music muster,” Buddy said.

In the grounds, visitors could browse Celtic-themed stands offering everything from tartans and heraldry through to palm reading and South Burnett wines.

Bands and Highland dancers performed in the Homestead’s covered hall while the canteen dispensed food to hungry travellers all day long, and the bar catered to thirsty ones.

There were also plenty of diversions to enjoy during the four-day event, such as a Kirkin’ O’ The Tartan, Saturday’s Highland Games, or Sunday’s traditional clan parade and church service.

And from time to time – for those whose tolerance for four days of bagpiping wasn’t all it should be – there was also some country and western music thrown in for good measure.

  • Boondooma Homestead’s next major annual event will be the Spirit Of The Bush Music Muster, which will run at the Homestead from April 19-25, 2017.

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Members of The Clan took a break from performing on stage to pipe contestants into the festival's annual Highland Games
The first contest in the Games was haggis tossing (a leather bag filled with sand) and it was supervised by Brownie
A competitor and Brownie pause while the previous contestant's throw is measured to avoid concussing the Games' assistants
Champion haggis tosser Jessimay Bronsch, from Ipswich, is congratulated on her 10.45m throw by Boondooma Homestead's Buddy Thomson
Joe Casalanguida warms up for the Drill Stone toss, which was a lot harder than it might look
The secret of drill stone tossing, Brownie explained, is to keep the stone next to your ear
Roger McMaster tests the weight of a caber; caber tossing followed soon after
Antoinette Boorman, from Gympie, was judged this year's champion female drill stone tosser; she said the secret of her success was that she formerly lived in Proston
Highland Games judges Merv Webster and Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff congratulate caber toss runner-up Mark Sonter on his remarkable 12.6m throw

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