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Community & Business

20 April, 2023

The Rodeo without power

Learn about how the Brymaroo Rodeo managed to save the event during a major power outage.


Oakey’s Kate Patch wins Brymaroo’s open barrel race. Photo: East Coast Images

Despite not receiving much in the way of hail or rain, Easter Saturday’s Brymaroo Rodeo received a major shake-up when the power went out. 

Treasurer Cathy Wood said it was an experience she will remember. 

“We had no hail, no rain, we just didn’t have any power,” she said.

“If you know anyone who can run an event without power send them our way,” she said.

With the main power down, the event would have likely ended early had it not been for the help of the people who volunteered back-up generators to the event. 

“Everyone’s generator came out of storage,” Ms Wood said. 

There’s nothing like country people.”

“We had all size generators, from big ones on big trailers, to small ones on caravans.”

In total, twelve generators were used. 

“People came out of the woodwork at short notice, Ms Wood said.

“We had a lighting plant like the ones you get on the roadworks.” 

As darkness approached, the power returned to the Campdraft Grounds, albeit briefly, allowing the use of eftpos at the bar.

“We got the power on at 6pm for two hours and then it went off again,” Ms Wood said.

“If you were just sitting down at the main event, you probably wouldn’t have noticed there was no power.

“The canteen was able to serve the same menu.”

Ms Wood hopes that with no adverse circumstances, next year’s event should break records.

“We got similar numbers to pre-COVID, but I think some of the reports of damage scared people off,” she said.

A large number of visitors decided to stay overnight, meaning volunteers had a lot of mouths to feed at the recovery breakfast.

“This year’s recovery breakfast was the biggest one we’ve ever done,” Cathy Wood said. 

Despite the weather, over 2000 people made it to Brymaroo-Irvingdale Road for the event, which involved 242 competitors.

Brymaroo Rodeo secretary Emily Southern said social media enabled people to keep up with what was going on in real time.

“We were able to keep people up to date during the storm,” she said. 

“(It was) a bit of a different crowd, a lot of people from the city.” 

“The storm was damaging for a lot of areas and some locals obviously had other things to attend to.”

Ms Southern says the event was a testament to the power of community spirit.

“Everyone had a really good time and the bar was full at the end of the night,” she said.

“It was a really good night.”

“That’s what it’s all about getting people out bigger and better the next time.”


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