The 2017 National Cherry Festival will come with a kick this year as Young gears up to host its first rodeo in 14 years. The inaugural National Cherry Festival Rodeo will be held in conjunction with the Cherry Festival over the first weekend of December.

Young Rodeo Association committee members anticipate the event to be a massive drawcard for the festival which already draws thousands of people to Young each year. Committee member, Joanne Johnson, said there has been a huge range of interest shown in the leadup to the Australian Professional Rodeo Association (APRA) event, notably from interstate.

“We’re hoping it will draw additional people to the town for the festival who will hopefully spend the whole weekend here,” she said.

“We’re hoping for a crowd of around 3000 people, although it’s our first rodeo so it’s going to be hard to gauge until the day.”

Johnson added this will be the first rodeo held at the new equine grounds located at Toompang Racecourse. “Earthwork has been carried out to ensure spectators get the best viewing opportunities through an amphitheatre design,” she said.

“We’re also going to have a big screen at the event and even our local radio station, 2YYY, are going to broadcast live from there on the day. “We’ve had some huge sponsorship from local businesses which has helped us to put this together, as we’re still establishing permanent infrastructure at the grounds. “We’ve held several successful events already so we’re confident that the rodeo is going to be just as successful.”

With the big day only three weeks away the committee is busily implementing finishing touches ahead of what they anticipated to be the perfect rodeo.

“The thing that makes a good rodeo is the amount and class of competitors,” Johnson said.

“They’re attracted by the amount of prizemoney, and we’re using addback, so there’s going to be some terrific prizemoney on offer.

“And being an APRA event it will attract high-rank competitors who follow the rodeo circuit.

“With the feedback we’ve already had both with the anticipated audience and business sponsorship, we feel that it’s going to be a fantastic event that we will run annually.”

Gates at the Milly Milly Lane grounds will open at 12pm with the main events to commence following the conclusion of the Cherry Festival Street Parade at 4pm. A shuttle bus will run half-hourly from Big W from 4pm until the night concludes at 11.30am for a gold coin donation. Bar and food facilities will be available at the venue, with strictly no BYO alcohol. No Eftpos or camping available at the grounds