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Can sheep race a steam engine?
Ewe Will Love the Booleroo Centre Sheep Races (Image Supplied)
Booleroo Centre is a small town of around 300 people in the southern Flinders Ranges of South Australia. It's mainly a service town for the surrounding district which farms wheat, barley, beef cattle and sheep. One of the best known Booleroo Centre attractions is the Booleroo Steam and Traction Museum, but now it has some competition.
Booleroo Centre Sheep Races
During April Booleroo Centre is hosting two major attractions and the town is buzzing with excitement. On Saturday April 9 from 11am the inaugural Booleroo Centre Sheep Races kick off at the town oval. This free event is full of fun things to do for all ages - even for the sheep.
Six sheep races throughout the day will build up excitement for ewe in the lead up to the main event, the Booleroo Calcutta Cup. Sheep are fairly independent sort of folk and not the easiest animals to persuade, so you can pretty much guarantee they will always go the opposite way that they're told. This all adds to the excitement, and buying a $2 ticket to 'own' a sheep for the race will give you a chance to win a share of the prize money. The Booleroo Cup first prize is $500 and comes with a shearing hand piece trophy.
Booleroo Centre Hotel - Accomodation, Food and Wine (Image: David Kilner)
Other fun things to do at the races include novelty events such as running in a race wearing gumboots while holding a drink. A Fashion on the Field parade will be run by local clothes designer Nikki Atkinson of Liv Sienne Fashion.
There's plenty of fun for kids too - activities for kids include a jumping castle, face painting and laser skirmish games.
Come to Booleroo Centre and Get Fleeced at the Sheep Races
Sheep races are thirsty work so it's lucky that there will be a licensed 'baaa' selling beer, wines and other drinks. Tasty BBQ lunch and dinners will feature fresh local produce, and organisers promise that you won't get 'fleeced'. For more exotic tastes try the gourmet cheese boards featuring Maggie Beer quince paste and Udder Delights cheeses. The day will finish with local musician Gavin Chandler entertaining the crowd with free live music.
At the end of the day remember it's not whether ewe won the race, but 'wether' you had a good time. Don't let anyone pull the wool over your eyes about the Booleroo Centre Sheep Races - all the info is up now on Facebook.
For more than 40 years the Booleroo Centre has been home to the Booleroo Steam and Traction Rally. This local attraction brings enthusiasts from miles around to see the growing collection of mighty monsters held by the Preservation Society in the Booleroo Steam and Traction Museum. This family fun day is back again this year on Sunday April 3.
On Rally Day there's a huge sense of excitement as the massive machines come out to work again. As always Rally Day at Booleroo Steam and Traction Museum kicks off with a swap meet from 8am. Enthusiasts from far and wide flock to get hold of rare goodies they need to rebuild vehicles, or to offload spare parts to buyers. I wonder if the guys from the Cobdogla Steam Museum will be there?
See Steam and Traction Engines in Action at Booleroo Centre (Image Supplied)
On Rally Day many of the engines which usually sit silently in the shed are brought out to show their stuff. Expect to see steam rollers and other steam engines, vintage cars, utes, trucks and tractors lined up around the oval. A working blacksmith's shop will demonstrate how things were done in the good old days.
The Rally Day proper starts at 10am, and if your partner has sneaked off to moon at the machines then don't despair: a mass of market stalls will mean you don't miss out on your shopping. Country towns are a great place to look for unusual bric a brac, and the White Elephant stall will be my first stop. Ogle the antiques, browse the books and DVDs, haggle over the hand crafted goodies, or pick up a plant. You'll find some of the best buys in Booleroo Centre at the Booleroo Steam and Traction Rally Day.
Freshly Cooked BBQ Food at the Booleroo Steam and Traction Museum
If you're in time for breakfast, bacon and eggs will be served. At lunch time find all manner of BBQ treats - steak, eggs and sausages for a start. Of course country baked pies, chips, sandwiches, and morning or afternoon teas will be there for the asking.
Other Attractions Near the Flinders Ranges
If you come up to enjoy one of these Booleroo Centre attractions, there are plenty of other fun things to see and do on the way. With Magnetic Hill a short drive away, I might check out its attractions. If you find others, then please let us know in the comments.