After ending in 1999 the Kinglake Country Fair returned to its former glory with stunning success hosting a fun-filled day for families with crowds in excess of 1,500 at the Kinglake Memorial Reserve on Saturday, March 17.
With 53 per cent of attendees from the Kinglake Ranges and 46 per cent from Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and Western Australia and a couple of families from overseas the fair was a great success.
Ellimatta Youth held main stage all day providing music from Jasper Kaye Hicks and the Ellimatta Jam Knights, Paul William Ray and students Kylah, Molly, and Cherri, Mitchell Tougher on the guitar and didgeridoo, Mia Gray with Indisposed and Avenues End performing in the afternoon.
At 2.30 p.m. contestants charged down the hill opposite Frank Thomson Reserve with 18 kg potato sacks over their shoulders. Running along the Kinglake to Kinglake West walking track contestants made their way to the Memorial Oval attempting to win the traditional King and all-new Queen of the Mountain races.
Jess, of Pascoe Vale, took home a convincing victory in the Queen of the Mountain race.
“I played footy with Sian [Eddington] who is, was, a local resident so yeah.
“Anything for a drive, it’s being really, really good. There’s so much here to do it’s unreal … people are more friendly around here,” Jess said.
Local Jeff Stephenson, 39, took home King of the Mountain after winning in a nail-biting finish as past winner Mark Hildebrand almost caught up in the last seconds, coming second place.
“I probably shouldn’t have had those few beers last [Friday] night … I’m not as young and fit as I used to be,” Hildebrand said.
Sack races, egg-and-spoon races, and a ‘tug of war’ continued throughout the day, wearing the kids out while parents relaxed in the Chill Out Zone marquee donated by Kinglake Rotary.
The fair will return in 2019 “committed to delivering an event that celebrates the Kinglake Ranges and offers a place for visitors and residents to spend quality time with their families,” William Verhagen told Kinglake Ranges News.
The Kinglake Country Fair was first held from 1978 to 1999.
Potato sacks for the King and Queen of the Mountain races donated by Kinglake potato farmers Bruce Jarvie and Geoff Exton.
The committee wishes to thank major partners Integrity Real Estate and Mountain Events for organising the event and sponsors Ellimatta Youth Inc., the FReeZA program, and Murrindindi Shire; King and Queen of the Mountain Sponsors, Bendigo Bank;
Other sponsors include Kinross Farm, Sunlight TLC Aged Care, Kinglake Forest Adventures, and Paul McLeish from AM or PM Services; Bronze Sponsors Andrew Frith of Custom Roller Shutters, Kinglake Pub, and Pheasant Creek Stockfeeds and Supplies; and other contributors Cheeky Fox Retreat, Heath Morehu, and Paradiso of Kinglake.