Fashions, Racing, and Easter Festival to lure racegoers to Bourke

Fashionistas such as Eliza Weldon will contest the bumper fashions on the field competition at Bourke on Sunday. Image: Racing Photography.

On track, Racing will take centre stage, but off track, Fashions on the Field could very well steal the show at the Back O’ Bourke picnic race day on Easter Sunday. 

With over $10,000 in cash and prizes to be won across nine different categories, fashionistas from all over New South Wales and Queensland will make the trip into the state’s North West. 

The little ones are covered on the day, with the Miss and Master of Bourke (12 and under) and Best Dressed Teen Boy and Girl (12-17), meaning everyone can get dressed up for the races. 

It starts getting very serious in the adult age groups, with the men fighting it out for bragging rights in the Best Dress Gentleman competition. 

The gloves then go on in the women’s competitions, which include Best Millinery, Contemporary Lady, Classic Lady, and Most Eligible Filly.

With brilliant prizes on offer, Fashions on the Field coordinator Mikaela Bowden stressed that the event was only possible due to the wonderful sponsorship. 

“It goes without saying that this is not possible without our sponsors,” Bowen said. 

“This year, three new major sponsors came on board: Hatch Contracting, Simon Lawson Building, and Cosmetic Tattooing by Eliza.

“They join our ongoing major sponsors, Little Darling Studio and Touch for Beauty, and the many other minor sponsors that support the event.

“I think our sponsors can see the benefit in this event for the community, as it attracts a massive line-up of people, and it’s turned into a massive drawcard for the races.”

In recent years, the Fashions on the Field competition has attracted a crowd that most clubs would be happy having on hand for their race day, let alone their fashions. 

Bowden believes the competition’s success and the considerable prize money up for grabs mean various racegoers circle Bourke on their calendars each year. 

10,000 – 1

“I wouldn’t know the first thing about horse racing, but I joined the club to help with fashions, and it’s great to showcase some fantastic outfits,” Bowden said.

“We offer many different categories and good prizes, and many people come for the fashions, making it a really big day.”

This year, the newest addition to the club’s Fashions on the Field competition is the Most Eligible Filly category.

Sponsored by the Howdy dating app, Bowden said this was the perfect section for racegoers in the market for a farmer, with the winner to be decided by people’s choice, and the winner will be awarded a free subscription.

With the new category and record prizemoney on offer, Bowden is proud of what the Bourke Fashions on the Field has become. 

“I’ve watched it grow immensely over the last three years, and it is only getting bigger and bigger,” Bowden said. 

“It’s just unreal, and the confidence on the ladies and gentleman’s faces is great.”

Complementing a six-race card, headlined by the $12,000 Harry Hart  Memorial Bourke Picnic Cup (1600m), the fashions and entertainment create a race day intrinsic to the Back O’ Bourke Easter Festival and community. 

“It’s so important for our community; everyone comes home to Bourke for Easter,” Bowden said. 

“Everything lights up over Easter, and while the festival itself is amazing, the races are what bring people home, and it continues to grow each year.”

It’s a massive weekend for the town, with its annual Back ‘O Bourke Easter festival set to attract thousands of visitors.

On Friday, there is the Colour Run and the Long Table Dinner, which leads into Saturday, where there are markets, the street parade, rugby, and, of course, the Bourke Cup Calcutta at the Bourke Bowling Club. 

On Sunday, kids can try their luck at the Ginat Easter Egg Hunt before the races cap off a huge few days for the community. 

For more on the Back O’ Bourke Easter Festival, click here

For more on the races, fashions, and what’s happening on Sunday, click here