The Thunderbolts Festival

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Uralla’s famous Thunderbolts Festival will be held over two weekends; on Saturday 17th October there is the Rough Stock Rodeo, and Saturday 24th October showcases Thunderbolts Festival in conjunction with Oxley Riders.


Tell us how the festival has grown over the years …

Uralla’s Thunderbolts Festival has been held every year since 1988 (it has evolved from “The Thunderbolt Spring Fair” to “Thunderbolts Festival” as we know it today). Originally it was organised by a group of local business people to attract visitors to the town; now in its 27th year, the Festival is coordinated completely by volunteers. The major sponsor is the Uralla Shire Council, and it attracts over 5,000 people each year. The event is held over two weekends; on Saturday 17th October there is the Rough Stock Rodeo, and Saturday 24th October showcases Thunderbolts Festival in conjunction with Oxley Riders.

Is there really a rodeo at the rear of the Top Pub?

In conjunction with Thunderbolts Festival: The Thunderbolt Rough Stock Rodeo will be on Saturday 17th October, held at the rear of the Top Pub. There will be plenty of bulls and broncs action, with big prize money up for grabs and raising money for Friends of McMaughs (the volunteer group who raise funds for McMaugh Gardens Aged Care Centre). The gates open at 4pm; come along for some very “up close” rodeo action. There is grand stand seating, and BBQ and bar facilities open all afternoon and into the night. For further information, contact Dave: 0487 765 229.

Thunderbolts Festival 24th October

What will be the major attraction this year?

In Alma Park there will be the amazing Rampt Mini FMX freestyle Motocross bike performances; it’s FREE to watch these guys perform extreme acrobatics on mini bikes using a 15 m ramp with a     70 m run up, and they are sure to wow the crowd!

What else will be happening?

At 10:30am the Jobs Aust Street Parade will make its way along the highway to the beautiful Alma Park, with the Oxley Riders motorbike group in the lead. Adam Marshall will be in attendance at the event. There will be Solid State Circus acrobatic performances and Paws Up dog high jump demonstrations.

With no entry charge, kids just need a $2 wristband (purchase on site) to enjoy all the activities all day! Activities include: rock climb wall, Bouncy Boxing, giant slide, jumping castles (there will be an adult castle for big kids and a small castle for little ones), hula hoop competition and the merry-go-round. There will be face painting, mega market stalls and live band “Stormy Weather” featuring vocalist Shirley Smith.

The Uralla Show Ride-On Mower Challenge, sponsored by Jason’s Small Engines and Mowers, will be racing about. There will be New Taste Sensations with local schools BBQs putting on some fabulous tasty lunch time meals, plus tea, coffee, locally made cakes and sandwiches. There will also be Twisty Potatoes, slushys and fresh fairyfloss.

The Uralla/Walcha inter-town Billycart Derby will take place in King St, from about 2pm. Why not build a billycart and bring it to Uralla for a run, or dust off an old billycart you may have lying about! Our scrutineers will check it over, to ensure it is safe. The DJ in the Park for highschoolers will kick off from 5pm and run until late; this is an alcohol free event, with fireworks at 8:30pm in the Bowlo carpark.

This year Fleet Warbirds will be providing the first prize in our major raffle, with one lucky winner being treated to a T6 Texan or Boeing Stearman Adventure flight; our thanks go to Lachie Onslow for his continued support of Thunderbolts Festival and now with Warbird Adventures.

And the bike group?

The local Walcha/Uralla motorcycle group, the Oxley Riders, will be coordinating The Bail Up Poker Run, Bike and Custom Car Show. Registrations for the Poker Run can be made Friday night 23rd at the Top Pub and from 7am on Saturday 24th outside the Bottom Pub (Thunderbolt Inn). The Poker Run will start at 10:30am in the street parade and tour around the local area to be back in Uralla around 4pm.

The Bike and Car Show will then be held in Hill St and this year features Hot Rod Vehicles and Classic Cars, vintage and antique bikes, market stalls, live music and Rotary BBQ. For more information, check out the Oxley Riders Facebook page or contact Petra 0447 022 033.

Thunderbolts Festival, incorporating Thunderbolt Rodeo and Oxley Riders committees, is coordinated by groups of like minded volunteers whose aim is to have an enjoyable event which is fully inclusive of all demographics of the community. We are not-for-profit committees, raising money for locally based groups and providing opportunities for other not-for-profit groups (such as schools and social or charity clubs). As much as possible we limit profits being taken out of the area, while promoting Uralla and the Uralla/Walcha local area and its businesses who are generous supporters of the events. For all Thunderbolts Festival information and entry forms, visit

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