Huge crowds full of hundreds of former residents will return home this weekend to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Wyalong and West Wyalong.
To celebrate, there will be a full weekend of activities planned to suit all tastes & interests. This will reconnect current residents, former residents, visitors and locals.
Here's what you can look forward to:
Community Ambassador Gail Platz will welcome visitors at the old Westpac Bank building in Main Street on Saturday morning before setting up at Neeld’s Hut at Cooinda Park from 1pm. Visitors will be asked to sign the visitors book and write on the supplied blackboards their name and connection/s to West Wyalong and Wyalong.
- Friday’s festivities include open days at the West Wyalong Local Aboriginal Land Council and West Wyalong Men’s Shed while Splatter Gallery in Main Street will host the official opening of the 125 canvases painted in 125 days for 125 years art exhibition at 3.30pm.
- The major event of the evening is the Riding for Disabled West Wyalong Old Time Bush Dance featuring the Tin Shed Rattlers at the Historic Ram Shed at the West Wyalong Showground from 6pm-11pm.
- One of the feature events of the entire weekend will be the Golden Days Fair at Cooinda Park on Saturday 23 March from 1pm until 5pm.
- The Fair will feature four live performances from wood choppers The “Axe Men” as well as Clydesdales, the Light Horsemen and various old time trade demonstrations including blacksmithing, sheep shearing, rope making, whip making, damper making, goat milking as well as live exhibits, West Wyalong Movies and much more.
- Eastern Riverina Arts will also launch their revolutionary PLATFORM space at the Fair – in conjunction with IDEAS - which will ensure the event is fully accessible to everyone.
- Across the road from Cooinda Park, the Aboriginal Land Council will host cultural canoe tours of The Wetlands while the famous local sport of mallee root throwing will be revived to crown a new King and Queen at Rotary Park at 2pm.
- Saturday’s celebrations will kick-off with the West Wyalong markets in McCann Park from 9am and a special 125 years of local fashion parade at Thom’s Corner at 10am while the Bland Shire library will pay special tribute to one of Wyalong and West Wyalong’ s most famous exports – author and playwright Dymphna Cusack with a special movie screening and high tea from noon.
- Wyalong Public School is also celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2019 and is holding a school reunion at the school grounds from 10am until 2pm including the unveiling of the school’s Centenary time capsule planted by students and teachers in 1994.
- The Clydesdales and Light Horsemen will visit the school as part of the celebrations before heading to Cooinda Park where they will lead an informal public procession to the Museum where Bland Shire Town Crier Kyle Sturgess will recreate the reading of the Riot Act while also giving special acknowledgement to the Barrier Mine Disaster.
People can collect a treasure hunt map from the Visitors Information Centre or House of Fashion. Entry is free and completed forms are to be returned to the VIC by Sunday. The winner will be drawn on Monday 25 March and receive a $50 voucher from one of the participating stores.
All visitors attending the anniversary celebrations are encouraged to sign the visitors book and have their photographs taken in the Main Street on Saturday morning or at the Golden Days Fair at Cooinda Park on Saturday morning.
All photographs will be placed on the Bland Shire Council Facebook page after the weekend and be stored and buried in the 125th anniversary time capsule later in the year.
For more information & all of the other exciting events planned for the weekend, head to Council's website