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Record numbers at Muster but more wanted in 2013

A RECORD 5000 people have helped elevate the annual Ernest Henry Mining Curry Merry Muster Festival to new heights, according to organiser Peta McIntyre.
Nanjing Night Net

As the three-day celebration wound down late yesterday, Ms McIntyre and her weary band of volunteers were basking in the glow of success with figures up 50 per cent on the previous year.

“It’s been awesome,” said McIntyre who still looked fresh in her blue and white cowgirl fear and hat.

“We’ve had a lot of enquiries from interstate.

“There has been a lot of people travelling and we’ve been getting 2-3 calls per day over the past few weeks.”

That was reflected in the attendance at yesterday’s Bush Poet’s Breakfast where at least half the 90 attendees were from out of town, some from as far as Western Australia and Tasmania.

Ms McIntyre said she believed the success of the festival was her committee’s focus on ensuring there was plenty of family entertainment, “and not just a rodeo, to cater for everyone”.

“It’s also a lot to do with our advance brochures.

“A lot of competitors also came from out of town,” she said.

There were record numbers at nearly every event.

The street parade attracted 40 floats and cars on Saturday night, and numbers at the Country Teddy Bears Picnic on Friday morning caught organisers by surprise with about 60 children.

“The face painter was really working, but she was very patient.

“This (picnic) was our best one, by far,” she said.

Ms McIntyre said the committee made a conscious effort to “make everything affordable” to encourage people to stay longer.

She said the success of this festival has encouraged her to “take it to the next level” by organising a Volunteer Crew like at the Julia Creek Dirt ‘n’ Dust Festival.

“They have got it well organised and we need to do that for the future.

“We only have a limited number of volunteers.”

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