September 10, 2021
Numbers at this year’s Heritage Nanango Country Muster may be down, but the Nanango Show Society is just delighted to see the much-loved annual event back!
Last year – for the first time since it began in 2003 – the Muster was forced to cancel at short notice due to the pandemic.
This year organisers decided to gamble on better conditions but lessened their risks by inviting Queensland artists only.
However, the border closure in late July meant interstate visitors, who can make up half of the audience, also couldn’t come.
The result is Nanango Showgrounds is only accommodating 450 caravans this year rather than the usual 800-plus vans that pack the grounds each Spring.
But the reduced number of guests didn’t seem to being having any effect on the good-natured camaraderie of the Muster crowd.
An invited artists concert on Thursday drew so many performers it ran well into the night; and the grandstand and spectator tents on the main oval were full to bursting for Friday morning’s official opening.
Show Society president Les Schloss said the Muster was flying its flag at half mast to mark the recent passing of Barry Fleming, husband of Show Society patron Gloria Fleming.
Les also paid tribute to Nanango’s Heritage Bank, saying the Muster could not exist without its support.
“Heritage have made tremendous contributions to the Show Society over the past 20 years and many of the facilities you enjoy today are a direct result of that,” he said.
South Burnett Mayor Brett Otto welcomed the audience and reminded them that Nanango was effectively “the birthplace of the South Burnett”.
He said not only was it the oldest town in the region, but it also exemplified the pioneering spirit of the area, both in its architecture and the community spirit that helped create so many of the amenities the town now enjoyed.
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington followed the Mayor, praising Les for his 25 years of service as Nanango Show Society’s president and the key role he’d played in helping found the Muster and guiding it to become a signature annual event.
The Heritage Nanango Country Music Muster will run at Nanango Showgrounds until Sunday, with the main day on Saturday.