Sheepfest a big attraction

Laura GrubisaNarrogin Observer

The first Darkan Sheepfest in 60 years was held last Saturday, with about 1000 people heading to Darkan Town Oval.

The main attraction was the shearing competition, which featured competitors in novice, under-21, intermediate, senior and open categories.

Ethan Gellately won the novice competition, with Kymberlee O’Brien, Wayne Banks and Brad Payne coming in second, third and fourth.

In the under-21 competition, Shannon McLean was the winner, with Jayden Smith, Liam Higgins and Tarryn Gray taking second, third and fourth places.

Dwayne Humes, of Boddington, claimed first in the intermediate category, followed by Trevor Gella-tely, Caleb Rodney, of Katanning, and Paranhini Jones, of Darkan.

In the senior category, Scott Mauger was the winner, followed by Greg Drew, Gavin Read and Warren Uren. The open category was won by Damien Boyle, followed by Mark Buscumb, Callum O’Brien and Brett Godde.

The festival also included a number of market and food stalls, a fashion parade, Old McDonald’s Farm, junior sports, and water slides for children.

West Arthur deputy Shire president Kevin King said the day was a much bigger success than anyone could have imagined.

“I was a bit overwhelmed at the amount of people actually,” he said.

“I think we would have been happy with 200, but to get around 1000 was fantastic.”

The organising committee had just 13 weeks to pull the show together, which Mr King said was no small task. “In October, we had a visit from the Wheatbelt Development Commission and from there we had a brain-storming session where we were put into four or five groups to come up with ideas and suggestions,” he said.

“One of those was the Sheepfest and the group only had 13 weeks to organise it. They just got busy and pulled it together.”

Mr King said the event was very well run and a great success.

“It does a lot for our community and I know people who originated from here used the day to come back and visit,” he said.

“It’s good to see some life in the community with the younger generations too.”

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