The farmers may be hoping for wet weather but Oracles of the Bush Festival organisers couldn’t have ordered a better day to kick off the festival with the Lions Club Brekkie in the Park.
Bruxner Park was packed with local and visiting bush poetry lovers catching up with this year’s roster of balladeers: Colin Driscoll, Col Milligan, Ray Essery, Bill Kearns and Darren Colston.
The Lions Club catering van and volunteers ensured everyone was well-fed as they reeled with laughter to some of the ‘insights’ shared by the poets.
These insights included an appreciation of the mid-drifts on display while people-watching at Pacific Fair Shopping Centre (innies, outies, some clean, others less-so) and a warning against how time ravages once-well-placed tattoos (what once was a dove flying high above a left breast becomes a dying flying fox hovering over a left hip).
Newly-inducted Oracles Legend George Mulheran was on hand to share in the laughter after the Oracles dinner at the Tenterfield Bowling Club started off proceedings on Thursday night.
There’s plenty more opportunities to catch the bush poets over the next few days. Mr Milligan will officially open the Arts & Craft Display at the Visitor’s Centre at 10am while the rest of the crew entertains local students and others at the Children’s Concert at Tenterfield Memorial Hall, also at 10am.
Then there’s time to catch Mr Kearns and Mr Colston at the Centenary Museum historical display at 1pm before the first heat of the Looming Legends start at 3pm back at Memorial Hall.
Hopefully everyone already has their tickets to the inaugural Legends Twilight Race Meeting on Friday night also at the hall.
That’s just the first full day of Oracles activities with a lot more over the weekend. Saturday begins with a choice of poet-hosted breakfast options before the Tenterfield Railway Markets, an open garden at Timbarra, more choices for a country lunch and more Looming Legend heats before the Poets Concert at Memorial Hall on Saturday night from 7.30pm.
The Festival wraps up on Sunday with the Poets Brawl in Jubilee Park from 8am, a church service at the historic Tenterfield Presbyterian Church at 10am before the announcement of this year’s Looming Legend after the finals from noon at Memorial Hall, followed by a farewell barbecue lunch.
The weather promises to stay good, and the vibe around town is upbeat for a great festival.
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