Picnic Races just keeps getting bigger and better

Cameron Smith, Micky Gibbs, Lane and Beau McKelvey, Byron Smith, Gus Gibbs, Harry Jorgensen, Emerson Smith and Sophia Jorgensen.
Cameron Smith, Micky Gibbs, Lane and Beau McKelvey, Byron Smith, Gus Gibbs, Harry Jorgensen, Emerson Smith and Sophia Jorgensen.

The Goondiwindi Picnic Races was the biggest and best, but it's a sure bet it won't hold that title for long.

"It's definitely the biggest year so far, but we seem to be saying that every year." The Goondiwindi Picnic Races continue to grow and have built a great reputation for a good day out. President Casey Simpson was speaking after it attracted more than 4000 patrons.

She said its success was due to its broad generational appeal with up to three generations of some families in attendance, and with perfect weather it made for a great day of racing. "In the 14 or so years that I have been doing it, we have changed so much," Ms Simpson said. "It's so nice to be a part of something like this that continues to grow. It is the best crew to work with and I think that shows. We all enjoy what we are doing and who we are working with.

"A lot of cogs turn in the background to make the day what it is and many people probably don't realise the amount of work involved in making it a success. Our biggest challenge as we grow is space. But we keep changing the recipe and we keep growing, mostly by word of mouth. We had a bigger social media push this year, which I believe made a definite impact. And we hope next year more people take advantage of the online ticket pre-sales.

"Some people who have been coming for a long time said they love the new changes." This includes the new entrance and the raised area trackside. "Young people in the community are often looking for different venues so we hoped this new area would not only assist the race club but the community as a whole," Ms Simpson said. "The gentlemen in the race club are so passionate and committed and it is nice to be able to work with them to achieve something and also to give something back."

A young clean-up crew were hard at work last week doing a final pick-up of any little pieces of rubbish. The committee went '"green" this year to get rid of the use of plastic cups and replaced them with recycled wine glasses which could be kept as a memento. "The committee has received lovely feedback, personally and via the website. We just want to be good at what we do," she said.