Organisers of the Deniliquin Ute Muster say the site is in first-rate condition for the ‘Play on the Plains’, after being ‘‘almost unrecognisable’’ during last year’s event.
With several weeks of heavy rain heading into the 2016 Muster, the site was a muddy mess. But not this year.
The Conargo Rd site is boasting plenty of greenery, and Ute Muster general manager Vicky Lowry says it’s rehabilitation is the result of a year-long commitment.
She said more than 1000 volunteers contributed to the site’s restoration since last year.
‘‘Straight after the Ute Muster we had volunteers and locals on site, with their roles ranging from picking up rubbish to resowing all the camping areas (with grass seeds),’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a combination of contractors, staff and volunteers who put the site back together each year, and it is looking amazing.
‘‘At the Muster we also have community groups who operate the bars, conduct traffic, run the cash-up area and do scanning.
‘‘First thing every morning to late at night, our volunteers are working hard to make sure the event runs smoothly.’’
Mrs Lowry said it’s these volunteers who are the backbone of the event, particularly when adversity arises.
‘‘We wouldn’t be able to run the event without our volunteers because of the invaluable manpower and dedication they’ve provided since day one,’’ she said.
‘‘Particularly last year with the weather, nobody complained and we just got on with it.
‘‘The community, our volunteers, patrons with tractors — they all did the job and it shows how our community steps up when faced with a challenge.’’
More support is always needed, said Mrs Lowry who encourages those interested to help out in any way they can.
‘‘Our volunteer numbers have been declining and we have really struggled this year,’’ she said.
‘‘It’s a great way to be a part of a team, it’s a lot of fun, you meet new people and it’s a chance to give back to the community.
‘‘The Muster gets in your blood, and our people are passionate and protective of our event because it is so important for our community.’’