2019 Darkan Sheepfest - the talk of the town

Darkan sheepfest drew crowds young and old from around the South West and Wheatbelt. Image supplied.
Darkan sheepfest drew crowds young and old from around the South West and Wheatbelt. Image supplied.

Darkan's Sheepfest held in the Shire of West Arthur last month is continuing to be the talk of the town among the community. 

What set out to be a small event in 2018 that promoted the local sheep, wool, and tourism industry, evolved into a 1000 people having passed through the gate by early afternoon.

Darkan Sheepfest chairperson Nathan King said the committee could not be happier with this year’s outcome and the winning formula would be continued next year.

“While these events do take a lot of time and effort to run, it has all been worth it. We have a small steering committee but ultimately the volunteering from the community is what has made it another success," he said.

The Darkan Sheepfest program continued with the popular program from last year which included the sport shear competition, ewe hogget competition and free children’s entertainment, along with three new headline events.

Margaret River resident Ann Wright said it was her second time at Sheepfest.

"If you and your family and friends live in the city, take the time to travel out to these small towns and go to their shows. I can honestly say, you will want to keep coming back," she said. 

Whilst one farmer who is resting up a hamstring injury may no longer be a fan; the Farmer vs Footballer Farm Boot Foot Race was a crowd favourite.

Dan South and Mackenzie Goss proved what most of the locals already knew – that farmers do really run faster in boots.

The Young Farmer Challenge has now officially made a resurgence in WA, having been held at Dowerin Field Days, and very popular tradition in the Eastern States, and now at Darkan Sheepfest.

‘Dunk for Dolly’ saw the use of an old-fashioned dunk tank and involved a few very brave locals volunteering to be dunked, to not only raise money but more importantly to raise awareness of Dolly’s Dream.

A Dolly’s Dream Foundation spokesperson said 14-year-old Amy Everett (Dolly) took her own life after an extended period of bullying and cyber-bullying last year.

"With the generous support of people all over Australia, Dolly's family are raising awareness about the serious issue of bullying and its devastating effects and providing assistance and support to children affected by bullying," they said. 

While the youth were well represented, so were the older and younger generations.

Three-year-old Laila Whitaker strutted her stuff on the catwalk, and Mr Dew, 83 years young, directing traffic to parking areas, made a fine example that it doesn’t matter what age you are.