The start of the toddlers races at the Maclean Lions Club Brooms Head Family Sports Day yesterday.
The start of the toddlers races at the Maclean Lions Club Brooms Head Family Sports Day yesterday.

Great way to start 2010

WHERE else in the world would you drive 25 kilometres through the bush on New Year’s Day to find a crowd of hundreds cheering on their mates ‘boat’ racing on plastic sheets of cardboard, a talent quest held on the back of a ute and a broom-throwing competition?

Although the Brooms Head Family Fun Day goes back to the time when the Scottish regiment would journey to Brooms for training camps over New Year’s, the event is about as Australian as you can get.

Cozzie-clad kids lined up to get a crack at performing to the slow-paced carnival-goers in a talent quest as the beach races took a break from the midday sun.

An organiser of the program, Laurie Fitzpatrick, said yesterday’s events went ahead in the best weather on the day in years. He’s been at the helm of the day for 13 of them, spending about a month each year to pull it all together.

“There was no New Year’s Eve partying for me. I was in bed by 10 o’clock,” he said.

The annual event had grown to the stage where it was too big for the Lions Club of Maclean and the 10 or so volunteers that work on the day.

With an estimated 500 extra visitors to Brooms, as well as the packed campground, the fun day became big enough to warrant a division of labour.

“Gulmarrad Rural Fire Service do the beer stand, the football club takes care of the barbecue and WIRES organise the stalls,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.

Local businesses donated more than $2000 worth of prizes that get handed out for all the events, from beach sprints, to three-legged races, tug-o-war, talent quest and of course the broom head throw.

“The Lions club will collect about $1000 on the gate and we get a lot of donations throughout the day,” Mr Fitzpatrick said.



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