Looking for something to do with the whole family?
Pomona King of the Mountain Festival is your answer.
Held on the fourth Sunday in July every year, more than 10,000 people arrive in the town of Pomona, situated in the Noosa hinterland, for the world famous King of the Mountain Festival. Well-known for the most difficult and historic mountain race, this fantastic festival has gotten bigger and bigger every year. Held on 28 July this year, the festival celebrates its 35th anniversary and promises to be a fabulous event with a full day packed with fun and entertainment for the whole family.
The Pomona King of the Mountain Festival draws people from all over the world such as New Zealand, the Pacific Rim and the United Kingdom for the Bendigo Bank International Mountain Challenge, which dates back to 1979. It is a gruelling race of 4.5km up the 438m face of Mount Cooroora and back. Starting from the centre of Pomona at 3pm, the daring participants race past streets full of screaming supporters before heading towards the king of the mountain. If you think this mountain is an easy climb, then you're wrong. Be prepared to be huffing, puffing and sweating profusely because the climb is steep, almost vertical. With hard work comes great rewards, but you must stay strong because at the summit you'll be rewarded with a magnificent view. Then you'll need to get back down and back to Pomona township. It is not an easy challenge, but if you have the strength, agility, a good sense of balance, and most importantly, are fearless, then this is for you.
This is an incredible race not to be missed so take up this awesome challenge. The race has 7 categories: Men's Open, Women's Open, Men's Veteran, Women's Veteran, Masters, Junior Boys and Junior Girls. So sign up now and start training! Entries are $80 each and close on receipt of 100 entries. If racing up the mountain isn't your then, then perhaps a screaming spectator is. This year, you can witness live footage of this spectacular race on the Big Screen. So plonk yourself down near the Big Screen and watch this amazing race.
Of course, this free festival is not just about the mountain race. It has many activities for the young and old alike. To get the ball rolling, attend King of the Mountain Family Bush Dance on Saturday 21 July at 6pm. Held in the Majestic Theatre, there will be jolly music, a groovy bar and scrumptious food. With Sheepdogs playing fun and energetic music, you and your family will definitely have a blast. Tickets are $15 and kids under 5 are free.
If you enjoyed the bush dance, then you'll certainly love the bush poets. Join bush poets Shirley Friend, Ian Mackay and Murray Hartin for a yummy hearty breakfast on Sunday 22 July at 7am at the Majestic Theatre. Tickets are $20 each and bookings are essential. So book now on 07 54852330 to avoid missing out. Just bring a sense of humour, an empty stomach and get ready for a terrific time.
Don't miss out on the outstanding heritage markets and cool side show alley open all day from 7am. In addition, there will be interesting exhibitions, insightful workshops, helicopter rides over the mountains and lots of other splendid activities for the kids. Also, excellent entertainment will be provided with Sunshine Coast buskers mingling through the markets and when you need a breather, relax by the IGA Entertainment Stage. If you're peckish, a huge variety of delicious food and drinks will be available all day in the food court and throughout the markets. What's more, don't forget to visit the Pomona Palette Exhibition at the Old Railway Station Gallery and the Antiques and Collectibles Fair and memorial Hall.
Although the highlight of the festival is the Bendigo Bank Mountain Challenge, there are also plenty of other sporting events on the day including primary school relay races, Zinc 96.1FM Mountain Dash, Nestle 3km Family Fun Run, and Raine & Horne Tug of War. With all sorts of delightful competitions available for registration, there's certainly something here for everyone. However, if running is not your thing, then why not enter the hilarious Cooroy Rag World Championship Thong Throwing event for just $2 entry?
The festival concludes at 5pm, but with awesome heritage markets, exciting amusement rides, thrilling helicopter rides over the mountain and fun competitions, you wouldn't want to go home. It's no wonder this festival attracts thousands of people every year. So pencil this in your calendar, gather your troops, do what you've got to do and see you there!
For more information on King of the Mountain sporting competitions, events, directions and accommodation, visit their website.