The lights will be shining on the Queensland Outback town of Mount Isa when a new lantern parade and light show spectacle joins the entertainment line up at the 2010 Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo.
For the first time the opening Mardi Gras street parade, involving floats from local businesses, schools and community groups, will include a lantern parade complete with a choreographed laser light show finale and a giant bull’s head feature lantern.
The show will definitely live up to its “Bulls, Bright Lights and Blue Jeans” theme with whip crackers, fire performers, stunning light effects and the finale of burning the giant bull’s head sculpture lighting up the Mount Isa sky.
The Southern Hemisphere’s largest rodeo event, the 52nd annual Xstrata Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo will be held from Friday, August 6 to Sunday, August 8.
Thousands are expected to head to the Isa to watch the competition at Kalkadoon Stadium, Buchanan Park, as the nation’s best compete for a $200,000 prize pool in events including bull riding, saddle bronc and bareback, steer wrestling, roping, ladies barrel racing and breakaway roping.
In the weeks leading up to the rodeo event, renowned light installation artist Clint Hurrell will conduct workshops with Mount Isa community members entering the parade to create lanterns that will be showcased on Mardi Gras floats and as part of a walking parade on Friday, August 6. At the end of the parade, community members will add their individual lanterns to the focal bull’s head before fire performers burn the 18 by eight metre sculpture as part of a stunning light show spectacle.
The opening night festivities start at 5.30pm with free family entertainment including live bands, a magic show and a jumping castle before the Mardi Gras and lantern parade kicks off at 7pm.
From 8pm to 10pm country music star Stephanie Brownlee will take to the stage, and in the main arena the “Man Against Beast” opening night event will showcase bull riding, saddle bronc, bareback bronc, steer wrestling and much more. Tickets for the “Man Against Beast” event are $20 for adults, $10 for pensioners and free for kids accompanied by a guardian.
Other rodeo week events include the Zonta Bush Poets Breakfast, Fred Brophy Boxing Troupe, XXXX Angels, Side Show Alley, Mailman Express Sprint Horse Race and a Country Music Festival which will be held on Saturday and Sunday afternoons (included in rodeo entry).
Mount Isa is located in north-west Queensland, 900km inland from Townsville along the Overlander’s Way and is easily accessed by direct flights from Brisbane, Gold Coast, Darwin, Alice Springs, Townsville and Cairns, as well as by road and bus.
Visitors coming earlier or staying on after the rodeo can explore local attractions including Outback at Isa where you can take a “Hard Times Mine Tour” or visit the Riversleigh Fossil Centre, Lake Moondarra, and the region’s twin jewels, Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park and the fascinating Riversleigh Fossil Fields.
For more information visit www.isarodeo.com.au or phone (07) 4743 2706.
For accommodation and holiday ideas visit www.queenslandholidays.com.au/destinations/outback/
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Susan Fuller, Synergy Marketing & Public Relations
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