It’s official – the Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo won the Best Festival and Event Category at this year’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards. It’s no wonder the biggest rodeo in the Southern Hemisphere is on many traveller’s bucket list! We’ve compiled a list of the 10 reasons not to miss this year’s Rodeo. Which one is your favourite?
- JESSICA MAUBOY ROCKING ISA STREET FESTIVAL
Welcome to Mount Isa! Opening the rodeo celebrations, come and join the Isa Street FESTIVAL on Wednesday night (August 9) in the main street. Entry is free and there are lots of food and market stalls, and you can try your hand at bull riding on the mechanical bull in front of the Isa Hotel. We’ve saved the best for last – super talented songstress Jessica Mauboy is flying in to perform a free concert before fireworks light up the sky.
- THE BEST COWBOYS AND COWGIRLS
Check out all the adrenalin-pumping action at Mount Isa’s three days of rodeo competition, including bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback, steer wrestling, roping, ladies barrel racing and breakaway roping. A record $230,000 in prizes (cash and buckles) is up for grabs! The top cowboys and cowgirls from all over Australia, New Zealand and a special guest champion US bull rider will compete for their chance to be crowned champions in their events. You won’t want to miss it!
- THE CHUTE TOUR
Available to Gold Seat holders, go behind the scenes on a limited, up close and personal Chute Tour. Catch a cowboy’s eye view at what goes on when getting into the chute when they prepare to ride a one tonne bull or bucking bronc. You don’t get much closer than this, unless you’re in the saddle! Feel the hearts pumping! The tours are guided by Isa Rodeo Queens or our rodeo protection athletes. This is the ultimate first-hand rodeo experience. Yee hah!
- VIP RODEO LOUNGE
Get all dolled up with the exclusive, double story air-conditioned Rodeo Lounge VIP marquee as a special addition to this year’s Isa Rodeo. The marquee gives guests an opportunity to treat themselves to a special experience, or for business people wanting to entertain clients or friends. Guests will enjoy catering including morning and afternoon tea, buffet lunch and dinner, as well as a full beverage package in a prime location overlooking the chutes. What more could you want?
- LIVE MUSIC CONCERTS
Get ready to rock the rodeo with live performances and concerts by country rockers Hurricane Fall and the ever-popular Troy Kemp on Friday night, and Busby Marou and O’Shea, direct from Nashville USA on Saturday night! And it’s all included in your Rodeo Pass! When rodeo is over for the day, the action shifts to the Wardles Main Stage – grab your Akubra and kick up some dust at these fabulous live shows!
- MAILMAN EXPRESS
Enjoy the speed and adrenaline of the Mailman Express; a non-thoroughbred time trial horse race. The race is held on Thursday night (August 10) and takes place over a 200 metre straight on the Buchanan Park racetrack. Named in honour of the late Wally Mailman – a champion rough rider, rodeo judge and racing steward in Mount Isa, this race is sure to get your blood pumping!
- FESTI-BULL CHILL AND KIDS ZONE
When you need a break from the adrenalin-pumping action in the arena, we have the perfect place to chill. The FestiBULL Chill & Kids Zone is a laid back, family friendly zone where you can relax over a cool drink or grab a bite to eat for lunch. It’s an alcohol free zone with tables and chairs set up in a welcoming, shady area a short stroll from the arena. The littlies aren’t forgotten – with kid friendly fun on offer.
- FANZONE COWBOY CORNER
Here’s your chance to grab a selfie with a champion cowboy or cowgirl! The special QCCU Fanzone is the spot to meet some of the star competitors, who will be happy to have a chat about what’s involved in the sport of rodeo. Our rodeo stars and some of our entertainers will be dropping by to sign autographs, and have a friendly chat with rodeo-goers.
- AMERICAN STAR RODEO CLOWN
Acclaimed American rodeo clown Hollywood Harris will be a special guest inside the spectacular Buchanan Park arena. Well known on the US Professional Bull Riding (PBR) circuit, the Texan native will combine his knack for physical comedy with his love of magic and entertaining a rodeo crowd. Get ready to watch one of the greats in action as he delights our crowds with his special brand of rodeo entertainment. His visit has been sponsored by Ashdown Ingram.
10. RODEO SPIRIT – IT’S A THING
There is no doubt that the spirit of rodeo takes over Mount Isa for the week long rodeo festival. Join in the fun by dressing in “western” gear – jeans, check shirt and an Akubra or bush hat, and check out the shops taking part in the Best Dressed competition. You’ll find themed shop windows and staff dressed for rodeo. Out at Rodeo HQ, Buchanan Park you’ll find the perfect souvenir of your Outback adventure.
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