Get set to Mardi Gras outback style!

The 2007 Xstrata Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo is fast approaching with just under two months before the annual celebrations kick off. An integral part within the schedule of events is the crowd pleasing, Mardi Gras. Colour, festivities and entertainment galore will make up the procession of the Mardi Gras with competitors, locals, business houses and sponsors taking to the streets on moving stages that provide a visual feast in outback Australia.

Buchanan Park, Mount Isa’s new $16.3million facility will welcome floats, fun and plenty of memorable characters on Friday 10th August as the venue comes alive with the thousands expected to take in the sights and sounds of the Xstrata Mount Isa Mines Mardi Gras in Australia’s Rodeo Capital.

Having only opened in May 2007, this year will mark the first time that Buchanan Park has housed the Mardi Gras. In the past the Mardi Gras has been held in the main streets of Mount Isa and has proven extremely popular with crowds. The new venue allows a new dynamic for the event and committee organisers remain confident that the new surrounds will only enhance the Mardi Gras even further.

“We are so fortunate to have this great facility that is state of the art and adaptable, allowing us to really make Buchanan Park the hub of all activity and events over the Xstrata Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo”, said Mrs Joyce McCulloch, Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo General Manager.

The new location ties in perfectly with the 2007 Mardi Gras theme, “Looking Forward, Looking Back”, an opportunity for the rodeo to embrace a bright new future in its new venue whilst reflecting on its origins and previous home at Kalkadoon Park.

The theme name was taken from the title of Slim Dusty’s 100th album release in 2000. Slim Dusty and wife Joy McKean had played in Mount Isa on many occasions and had also attended the rodeo. “Slim and I spent many happy days in Mount Isa at rodeo time.  We always timed our itineraries to coincide with the rodeo even when we were doing the round Australia tours.  We looked forward to either taking part in the big Parade or watching the spectacle before we began our own show”, said Mrs McKean from her Sydney office.

“Generally, the Slim Dusty Show was in town for the week and sometimes longer. Every year, Slim and I went to the Rodeo Arena and entertained the crowds for a short while.  It was a time when we felt part of the town as we knew so many people there, and we were made part of the celebrations… we were made welcome everywhere.”, she added.

The “Looking Forward, Looking Back” Mardi Gras parade will begin it’s procession on the corner of George St & Abel Smith Parade before heading west up George Street, turn right onto Sutton Street and will finish at the end of Sutton Street.

The 2007 Xstrata Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo will run from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th August 2007. For further information about the 2007 Xstrata Mount Isa Mines Rotary Rodeo please contact the Media Unit at RODEO HQ on 07 47432706 or 0409985997.