July 23, 2019
The weather was perfect for this year’s family-friendly Murgon Rail Trail Festival on Sunday, and Murgon’s community groups turned out in force to support the event.
Last year, the inaugural Festival was run during the October long weekend and had to be cut short in the early afternoon when a thunderstorm drenched the grounds.
So this year, the event was moved to July to take advantage of the (usually) fine winter weather, and organisers were rewarded with a warm, sunny day.
Last year, the bulk of the Festival also ran in the grounds around Murgon’s former railway station, with a giant inflatable obstacle course at the nearby Showgrounds.
But this year, all activities were moved to the Showgrounds except for the athletic events, which used the South Burnett Rail Trail.
Many of the attractions from last year were brought back again this year, along with several new ones.
One of the innovations was from the Murgon Men’s Shed, which offered $2 rides around the grounds in their eye-catching Pumpkin Coach.
Murgon Fire Brigade showed children how a fire hose worked – and just how heavy fire-fighting gear can be.
Other attractions included a show’n’shine for cars and motorcycles that drew many impressive entries and even more onlookers.
For those with an athletic bent, the day began early with a 13/13km team relay which left the starting blocks at 7:00am, followed by a half marathon and 10km run.
Those who preferred to sleep in on a Sunday could take part in a more leisurely 5km fun run/walk or a 3km colour run/walk organised by the South Burnett PCYC.
Cyclists could choose between a 13/13km duathlon or a 13/13km duathlon team relay.
The festival was officially opened by Aunty Pattie Bond at 10:30am, and her Welcome to Country was followed by a performance by the Koolaburra dancers.
Elsewhere in the grounds, the comedy pig races drew good crowds and helped raise money for the PCYC’s Byte Nites; many eager children scaled the multi-story inflatable obstacle course; and others took part in billy-cart races on the main oval.
Meanwhile, browsers were free to peruse a ring of stalls selling everything from food to wine, and trash to treasure, that ringed the oval’s perimeter; or they could watch radio in action as Corky and Chantal from CROW-FM broadcast live from the grounds.
On a stage set up in front of the grandstand, they could enjoy live music from Amber Goldsmith and Ash Williamson.
Murgon Business and Development Association president Leo Geraghty said he was pleased with attendances at this year’s event and was also happy the festival was able to help fundraise for the PCYC’s Byte Nites.