Lake Bolac is a quiet little town about two and a half hours' drive from Melbourne, once famous only for its surplus of eels and a mini-tornado that smashed the windscreen of a ute in 2006. Last year, however, the landscape had quite a shakeup, with the return of the Eel Skinners and Duck Pluckers B 'n' S Ball, which saw the tiny population swell into the thousands as revellers flocked in with their bowties and ballgowns to kick up their heels (and the dust) at the biggest shindig the town had ever seen.
A merry scene from the 2014 ball.
And now, in 2015, they're ready to do it all again.
You better crack a whip if you don't want to miss the daytime shenanigans.
This year's ball will take place on Saturday, 12 December at 6667 Glenelg Highway (just follow any ute with a giant aerial you come across within a 100 kilometre radius). Once you're in the gates, you'll get your wristband, drink ticket and a goodie bag with few bits and pieces in keeping with those B 'n' S feels: a stubby holder, an ear tag, a souvie sticker and a condom.
After that, you're free to set up camp, sit back and spend the day enjoying the pre-ball festivities. The actual organised entertainment (as opposed to the impromptu entertainment you'll be treated to) doesn't start until after dark, but it's best to get in by mid-afternoon if you want to assume the position of choice.
The ball wouldn't be complete without an interesting character...
During the day, you can expect a footy game or two, some freelance whip-cracking, and more than a few interesting characters. You can probably also expect so see a couple of small key-banging-induced fires, though this is a bit of a no-no. Otherwise, the rules are pretty common-sense: no glass, no circle work, no camping in the path of another vehicle.
Later, with dusk, the dynamic changes – and so do the duds. The ladies frock up and the gents don their black ties, and everyone looks quite respectable. For at least half an hour. That's when the party really kicks into gear, with the gates to the main arena opening and cover band No Plans taking to the stage again after proving to be a huge hit with the crowd last year.
Stay safe and stick to the rules - it's duck pluckers, not feather rufflers.
At this point in the proceedings, there will be a spirit of bonhomie in the air, quite a bit of food dye, and maybe even… love? It was with the "Bachelors 'n' Spinsters" theme in mind that WeekendNotes chatted with Event Manager, Ash Scott.
It's usually pretty easy to spot the true blue country boys - even in bowties...
According to Mr Scott: "There's always some romance after dark at every B 'n' S Ball, whether it be very short term or very long term… I think people go more as a group of mates having a night out now rather than going to find love, but I guess if it happens, it happens. There's all the key ingredients for love. We have bulk booze, music and food – what more could you need?"
...and of course the country girls!
What more indeed. Tickets and merchandise can be purchased online, with advance tickets selling for $110 or $130 on the gate, so get on board, get gussied up – and maybe you'll be sharing a bacon sandwich with someone special in the morning.