Uralla’s Thunderbolts Festival

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Thunderbolts Festival will be held on Saturday 28th October. The street parade commences at 10:30am and will be led by the local motorbike group, Oxley Riders, with the Bail Up Poker Run, incorporating vintage vehicles and hot rods – the sight and sound of over 200 bikes plus vehicles in the parade is not to be missed! Captain Thunderbolt will be there, Dr Hubbles Bubbles, local fire engines, as well as our local schools and community groups. Celebrating our 19th year in 2017, the festival theme is Fairies and Elves, and the Fairy Lady will feature in a dazzling display which will magically float to Alma Park.

Is there something special happening in Alma Park?

The Fairy Lady will sprinkle her good wishes over the festival and may even grant special secret wishes to little fairies and elves. There will be a Fairy Treasure Garden to delight the young and young at heart.

Adam Marshall will officially open Thunderbolts Festival and the fun will continue with pony rides, Paws Up dog high jump and street performer Shep Huntley showing off the skills of Dr Hubbles Bubbles!

For only $2, children can have a wristband to use all the amazing rides, including rock climb wall, giant inflatable treasure maze, giant slide, merry-go-round, a huge jumping castle and smaller one for littlies. Meanwhile, mums, dads, grandparents and carers can sit back, relax and soak up the sense of true community spirit that is Uralla. This event is a whole community event, and everyone is welcome.

The New England Antique Machinery group will feature restored tractors and working machinery on display, and there will be more than 40 markets stalls amongst the shady trees in Alma Park, selling everything from leather goods, plants, toys, clothing, hats, furniture, crystals, soaps, jewellery, bric-a-brac, jackets and pet mats. Food will be provided by Friends of McMaughs, BBQs by St Joseph’s and Uralla Central Schools, the Lions Club famous fresh fairyfloss and Rocky River School homebaked goodies.

Live music will be provided by the ever popular, high energy Jug Addicts, with their unique and quirky mix of jazz, blues and folk music – the perfect vibe for Thunderbolts Festival. There will be face painting and the Billycart Derby, where entrants come from as far away as Tenterfield and Willow Tree. The Festival wraps up around 4pm in Alma Park and the Holy Smoke fireworks finale will be near the Bowlo at 8:30pm.

Are there any more details on the Bail Up Poker Run?

Yes, the Oxley Riders have decided to try something new for the Bail Up this year, with $800 for the winning hand and $200 for the losing hand, an initiative which is sure to be appealing! Registrations are from 6pm on the Friday at the Top Pub Uralla, and proceeds go to Bravehearts Foundation and local charities. All motorbikes, vintage vehicles and hot rods are welcome; call Shane 0427 007 969 or Spook 0448 771 046.

How does the festival support businesses in Uralla?

Thunderbolts Festival hosts not-for-profit groups in Alma Park, and we do not have out of town coffee vans or food stalls. In this way, visitors (and locals) wanting quality coffee are urged to patronise the many fabulous cafés and restaurants in town. This means the local community groups as well as the businesses are all supported by the event, and the vast majority of the economic benefit from the event stays in Uralla.

Accommodation is the other major beneficiary, with all motels, hotels, caravan parks and even the RSL Memorial Hall all booked out each year for the festival. Many visitors stay more than one night, and lots of regular patrons who travel long distances for the event stay for up to a week or more.

Who are the main sponsors of the festival?

The Uralla Shire Council is the major financial sponsor of Thunderbolts Festival; the event would not be able to held without their dedicated support. The Rotary Club of Uralla are the auspicing organisation, and other sponsors include Phoenix Foundry, Uralla Bowlo, Regional Australia Bank, Jobs Australia, Thunderbolt Inn and numerous local businesses and individual sponsors.

Fleet Warbirds have pledged their ongoing commitment by again donating a Warbird Adventures joyflight as the first prize in the festival raffle. Tickets will be available at the Uralla Street Stall the first week of October and also on the day of the festival.

When will the rodeo be held?

The Uralla Rough Stock Rodeo will be held from 4pm on Saturday the 18th November. This is a popular part of Thunderbolts Festival and is now in its sixth year. At the back of the Top Pub, the tight arena gets patrons up close and personal to the action. The event offers big prize money and draws cowboys from far and wide for four – five hours of wild rides.

The Uralla Thunderbolt Rodeo is partnered with Friends of McMaughs, another volunteer group who support the local aged care centre, McMaugh Gardens. On the day there will be BBQ and bar facilities. For further information, contact Dave on 0487 765 229.

Thunderbolts Festival; there is something for everyone in Uralla! www.thunderboltsfestival.com.au 

Interview with Leanne Doran.

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