It was Easter weekend, 34 years ago, when frilled neck lizards ran rampant around Kalkadoon Park.
Wearing their new cotton painted skin suits and fledgling frills sitting atop hard helmets, they ran alongside Isa Liza as she led them around the oval, not once, not twice but three times to triumphant applause from the on lookers.
Isa Liza, a mature frilled neck lizard, typified the hardy nature of those animals and people who inhabit and live in this harsh terrain, was the official mascot.
She was brought to life, by talented local artist Glen Graham, in all her sporting prowess.
There she was swimming, racing go karts, playing hockey, golf, and bocce before tackling various equestrian events, lawn bowls, judo, netball and even rock drilling to name a few sports.
But it was the carpentry skills of Bev Swaffield who was responsible for building her around a Mini Moke car so she could manoeuvre the streets and oval perimeters.
And there she was proudly parading her little lizard kids on a night of awe and wonder, excitement, innovation and dreams; it was the Opening Ceremony of the 1986 Suncorp North Queensland Games in Mount Isa.
Ten thousand tickets had been sold for the ceremony, two thousand free admittance slips had been given to participants, three horses were strapped with power packs, six bow hunters fingered their bows nervously in the cattle yards, two hundred uniformed pipers blew lightly into their bags and one hundred indigenous dancers patiently waited along with another one hundred multi-cultural groups for the festivities to begin.
The Opening Ceremony announcers, Graham Lever, Peter Beard and Kim-Maree Burton began a crowd countdown to the start of the celebrations.
Ten, nine, eight three, two, one and with that, six thousand balloons, gathered and held like giant bags of jelly beans were opened to squeals of delight as they slowly soared up into the early evening sky.
The Games official and special visitor, Dawn Fraser, triple Olympian swimmer, did a lap of honour in vehicles from the 1920s from the Mount Isa Restored Car Club.
From the Aboriginal dancers of Mornington Island and Doomadgee who performed tribal dances to the lace and embroideries of Europe, the eye-biting colours of Asian silks and the practicality of Pacific Islander dress, the multi-cultural traditional dances and dancers received a rousing round of applause from the spectators.
The arena was an ever-changing swirl of colour, sound and entertainment.
North West Queensland had never seen such a spectacle.
The massed Pipe Bands (all two hundred pipers and drummers) sounded fantastic and looked splendid in the full regalia of their tartans.
They had travelled from as far afield as Darwin, Lower Burdekin, Mackay, Redcliffe, Toowoomba and Townsville to compete with Mount Isa in the North Queensland Pipe Band Championships which were held at various locations; Lions Street Party, Saturday Street Parade, and during both Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
The pipers were accustomed to performing in warm conditions but rigged out in full regalia, puffing pipes and carrying drums was not conducive to 35 degree-plus heat.
Music of all genre was a strong element in the Opening Ceremony with the disciplined and regal, 1 Royal Australian Regiment Band, from Townsville, on centre stage to lead a two hundred strong choir of local school children, as they sang We are Australian, which blended the qualities of all the nationalities that go to make up an Aussie.
A Pioneers Pageant made use of modern equipment with a large screen being used at the same time as men and women acted out the milestones in the districts history.
The Opening Ceremony had at least one performance to suit every spectators likes; karate kids, to BMX bikers, skydivers, go karts and other attractions which kept the programme zipping along.
And who could forget the lycra clad female aerobic dancers as they exercised to the tunes of The Eye of the Tiger and We Built this City?
The Games Executive Director, Dale Seaniger introduced each of the 62 sports as the athletes marched into the arena: arm wrestling, darts, indoor cricket, kick boxing, motocross, roller hockey, rock drilling and Queens Shoot to name eight of the sports.
And when he introduced the Papua New Guinea boxing team, there was an enthusiastic applause of welcome and in acknowledgement of their unexpected arrival to participate in the Games.
In his Opening address Mayor, Ald. Tony McGrady, said the night made him proud to be a Mount Isan.
He said when Mount Isa applied for and got the Games two years earlier, some people thought that it would not be possible for the city to stage them.
But he said the people had risen to the challenge and defeated many obstacles.
It was a proud moment for the city!
The night held one spectacle after another but the piece de resistance was the entry of the Electric-Light Horseman, carrying aloft the Games Flame, and his two escorts as they galloped into a blacked-out arena.
Not a sound was heard from the audience.
Silently, five bow hunters proceeded to light their arrows (from the lead Electric-light Horseman) and aim for the flame bowl situated above the announcers box.
To great cheers and oohs and aahhs, the arrows hit their target and the Games flame was lit.
(This idea was again used to world-wide acclaim at the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.) The 1986 Mount Isa Suncorp North Queensland Games was ready for some fierce competition.
Researched and written by Kim-Maree Burton. Photographs supplied by North Queensland History Collection. Information sourced from North Queensland Games Foundation, and the North West Star.