Tara Camel Races To Wait Out The COVID Hump

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Organisers promise the camels and all the festival fun will return to Tara in a future year, but for now will hold off planning their next festival until the path ahead is clearer.

"The festival was such a success for our town last year and we know the format of what we are offering is so well loved," said Festival President, Mrs Kerry Kelly. "As our volunteer committee sat around the table to discuss next year, it became clear that we didn't want to go down the path of curbing attendance and having less people join in the festival fun to allow for social distancing."

"In the mean time we will continue to meet up, reminiscing on the fun of the last festival and we'll be keeping an eye on when the time is right for us to again jump in head first for another big festival," said Mrs Kelly. "We are completely volunteer run and between us we give thousands of hours to stage the festival, so when we again hit go on our festival planning we want to feel confident our investment will pay off and be successful as it has been these past years," said Mrs Kelly.

"We had to make a call either way about next year and we had to make it quite early because there is major infrastructure works which need to be scheduled at the festival Showgrounds venue next year," explained Mrs Kelly. "So while our festival is on a break next year, there'll be plenty happening with infrastructure upgrades and this means that when we do return we'll have a better venue, with important improvements to things like site power capacity."

The festival's monumental growth and success is the pride of Tara's small community. The 2019 festival was the largest crowd to ever be seen in Tara, with caravanners, campers and day-trippers descending on this little town, swelling the population tenfold to 10,000 individuals and the festival recording an estimated 25,000 in total attendance over the three days.

Next year would have been the 11th Tara Festival of Cultural and Camel Races, held biennially over the last 22 years.

Organisers encourage visitors to check out their cousin event held next year in the neighboring town of Miles, with plans going full steam ahead for the Miles Back to the Bush Festival on 9 to 12 September 2021. It will be a combined celebration with the 50th Anniversary of the Miles Historical Village and to mark the occasion the festival will be based for the first time within and adjoining loved Village Museum site.

The Tara Festival of Culture and Camel Races is supported by the Queensland Government through Tourism and Events Queensland.

"We're pleased to see the COVID-19 restrictions eased in Queensland, moreso even since we made our recent decision, but the environment for anyone delivering a large-scale event like ours is still considerably challenged. We thank our festival fans, the camels, cameliers and trainers, entertainers, performers, stall holders and our supporting festival partners for their patience while we continue to navigate the uncertainty of these changes," she said.

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