It’s time to dust off the boots and hats and get together a dance number now that a Tamworth Country Music Festival favourite will return.
After a four-year hiatus, the cavalcade will be returning to the streets in 2024, albeit in a re-imagined way.
Rebranded to the Country Music Parade, the event will be a celebration of Australian country music and provide an opportunity for festival goers to see their favourite stars up close and in person through the excitement of a traditional street parade.
Re-branded as the Country Music Parade, festival goers will be able to see their favourite artists up close and experience the enthusiasm of the Tamworth community.
Event Manager at Tamworth Regional Council Barry Harley said its return is really exciting news considering the challenges organisers face to put it on.
“It’s one of those iconic elements within the festival that due to layers of challenges including risk and safety, logistics and finances, it was decided to be discontinued in 2020,” he said.
“Its also becoming harder for groups to find the time and resources to put together extravagant floats.
“So, it’s great we’ve been able to capture all of the elements of community participation and the important elements of the country music artists being able to shine in front of their fans in this re-imagined way.”
Traditionally, the cavalcade featured trucks and other big utility vehicles, but this year, only small cars and utes will be accepted.
“This is to reduce the risk of having large vehicles moving through large crowds,” explained Michaela Stevens, Event and Operations Coordinator at TRC.
“The exciting bit though, is getting as many people as possible to walk the parade so they can engage really well with spectators.”
Organisers are confident the magic of the parade will be captured just as well as previous years, with community groups agreeing.
“The cavalcade and now the parade has been a major part of the Tamworth City Dance Academy since 2009,” shared Kellie Singh.
“It’s our town and it’s our chance to show our amazing talented dancers on a big scale. Just because we’re rural doesn’t mean we’re not totally amazing and professional.”
The academy is pumped for the Australian Country Music theme, already throwing ideas around for their performance.
“I love being able to put a little bit of modernness to the country theme, so perhaps a little bit of techno underneath the country and really bring some dancing ability into that,” Kellie said.
Another group that’s pumped is Tamworth Pride, announcing they want to revamp their Mardi Gras float for the occasion.
“We did really well at Mardi Gras this year with our cowboy theme, so we might create that in different ways to showcase how vibrant our community is,” said William Weller, Tamworth Pride President.
The event will be held on Saturday January 27, following a 1.2km route north along Peel Street, before turning into Fitzroy Street and left onto Kable Avenue, concluding at the intersection of Kable Avenue and Hill Street.