Bourke picnic races to headline four-day Back ‘O Bourke Easter Festival

Back O’ Bourke picnic races will headline the Back O’ Bourke Easter Festival this long weekend. Photos: Racing Photography.

An Easter bonanza will kick off in Bourke on Friday and runs through to Sunday, with four bumper days of activities set to entertain both locals and visitors. 

The Back O’ Bourke Picnic Races headline the four days, with the meeting held on Sunday, but Bourke Shire Council’s Mel Milgate explained that there was something to be had for everyone across the four days. 

“There is four full days for everyone,” Milgate said. 

“Friday is the colour run in the morning then the Back of Bourke sessions in the afternoon with The Sulli-Vans from The Voice at The Exhibition Centre, which runs through to 9pm, and that is a BYO family event.

“Plus, all the pubs and clubs are open and it’s a great way to kick off the festival.”

The Saturday is a great preview to the race day, with another action-packed day culminating with the Back O’ Bourke picnic races calcutta.

“On Saturday there is the Park Run out at the racecourse, and also on Saturday, the Back of Bourke Grand Street Parade is huge, and we have the NSW Police marching band coming to Bourke, which is huge for us, because they are normally performing at the (Royal) Easter Show, but they are heading west and playing in Bourke,” Milgate said.

“We have wool barrel rolling, which is folklore, and there is team and Individual events, and its great fun after the parade.

“Plus, on Saturday, The Old Boys are running a rugby union match between the Ex Bourke Old Boys and the current Bourke boys, and the juniors will play too, and we hope to have the girls run on the field.

“Then on Saturday night, at the Bourke Bowling Club is the calcutta at 6pm and owners and trainers and anyone else wanting to get involved can buy tickets and buy a horse.”

While Sunday is Easter, there is a big egg hunt but Milgate explained that the races was the main attraction on the day.

“Sunday is Easter Sunday, and we have a service running and there is the pancake breakfast and there is a massive easter egg hunt and there is $5000 in prizes and people will be trying to find the golden egg,” Milgate said. 

“After the egg hunt, Sunday is about race day and the gates will open at about 12pm. They have a brand-new facility, and it is great.

“We will always be able to use it, for not just the races and show, but balls and other good things but it will be a great addition to what is already a good day at the races.”

Monday wraps the festivities up and Milgate said Bourke was a great location for families and friends wanting to take a different and unique approach to their Easter Holidays. 

“If you haven’t been to Bourke for Easter, it is time to come here and see what we love,” Milgate said.

“The weather is always perfect and there is so much to do. 

“The locals that have moved on love to come back and Bourke is definitely the place to visit at Easter.”

While the festival will no doubt attract visitors from far and wide to Bourke, the Harry Hart Memorial Picnic Cup will headline the five-race-program on Sunday.

The feature race carries a tidy $11,000 in prizemoney and will be run and won over the 1600m journey. 

Nominations for the meeting are strong with 46 runners entered to race and for more information on the race day and on-track and off-track entertainment, readers can click here and for a virtual guide to the four days, readers can click here.