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Hearty welcome to all rodeo visitors

August 7, 2019

Mount Isa Airport is rolling out the red carpet as the stars from across Australia and further afield make their way to North West Queensland for this year’s Mount Isa Mines Rodeo.

The North American team flew in from the US today to join the more than 39,000 visitors expected to descend on the region for the four-day festival, which kicks off tomorrow.

The biggest and richest event of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, this year marks the 60th anniversary of the rodeo, which first started in 1959.

Mount Isa Airport Chief Operating Officer Kevin Gill said the rodeo was the most significant event on the Mount Isa tourism calendar, directly injecting $11 million into the local economy in 2018.

“To ensure a thriving tourism industry, you have to give people a reason to visit the region and the Mount Isa Mines Rodeo does just that,” he said.

“The rodeo is one of regional Queensland’s premier events. Last year, it helped drive passenger numbers at Mount Isa Airport up by 13 per cent during the week of the rodeo, compared to the weeks immediately before and after the event.

“It is one of the reasons we have been an event partner for the past 21 years.”

Mount Isa Mines Rodeo Chief Executive Officer Natalie Flecker said she was excited to welcome all the visitors heading to Mount Isa for the 60th anniversary rodeo.

“We have more than 700 nominations this year, more than 700 volunteers and a huge entertainment line-up to look forward to this weekend,” she said.

“Competition in the arena will be world-class, with top riders from every state in Australia competing against each other as well as against top riders from Team North America.

“With competitors ranging in age from eight to 88 years, this promises to be a fantastic event for all involved. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across Australia and overseas to Mount Isa and Outback Queensland.”

This year’s event will be held from 8 to 11 August with a total prize pool of $230,000.

The event features a top entertainment program, including Birds of Tokyo, Lee Kernaghan and John ‘The Voice’ Farnham who will headline Sunday’s closing concert.

Other entertainment includes a free Rodeo Street Country Music Festival, a Rodeo Ball, bush poets breakfast.

Mount Isa Airport parent company, Queensland Airports Limited, supports more than 70 community, business, environment and tourism initiatives across Queensland and northern New South Wales each year.