OFF the back of winning gold at the 2016 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, the legendary Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo is set to bring everything its got for this year’s world-class rodeo competition.
The 59th annual Isa Rodeo will attract the very best cowboys and cowgirls from around Australia and overseas competing for prize money worth $230,000.
The 2017 rodeo will be held from Friday to Sunday, August 11 to 13, and the 60th Diamond Jubilee rodeo from August 10 to 12, 2018.
Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo manager Natalie Flecker said the Isa Rodeo was a bucket list item for many people.
“We know our audience is a mix of very loyal rodeo-goers who come year after year, and also people who want to experience for the first time, an authentic rodeo, the biggest and best in the southern hemisphere,” she said.
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“Mount Isa is Australia’s rodeo capital and our visitors are guaranteed a warm welcome and taste of outback hospitality.”
While the competition in the spectacular red dirt Buchanan Park arena is world-class, there is always plenty to do during the lead up to, and over the three days of rodeo.
Outside the famous arena, a rodeo festival gets underway, including live concerts, the Fred Brophy’s Outback boxing troupe, bush poets breakfast and much more.
The action kicked off with the popular Isa Street Festival last night and will follow today, Thursday, August 10 with the Mailman Express Sprint Horse Race, and the rodeo competition and opening ceremony on Friday.
The weekend focus is on rodeo competition, also relayed live on the big screen, as well as live concerts on Friday and Saturday nights, in the lead up to the Sunday rodeo finals.
Country rock band Hurricane Fall and the ever popular Troy Kemp will rock the Wardles main stage on Friday night, while Busby Marou and O’Shea will keep the crowds entertained on Saturday night.
“From very humble beginnings in 1959 when three small Rotary Clubs joined forces to put on a rodeo to put their small mining town on the map, the Isa Rodeo has grown to be as big a spectacle as you’ll see anywhere in the world,” Ms Flecker said.
“Every year the rodeo donates proceeds back into the local community, with these donations totaling almost $5 million to date.”
Recipients have included the Royal Flying Doctors Service, the PCYC, North Queensland Rescue Helicopter Service, BUSHKids and the Laura Johnson Home community health organisation.