THE Wimmera was absolutely buzzing last weekend – and it was fantastic to see.
Our region’s population swelled thanks to a long weekend in Victoria paired with participants and families of the Australian Junior Motocross Championships booking out accommodation for the week-long event at Dooen, interstate football supporters travelling through the region enroute to the AFL grand final in Melbourne between Adelaide Crows and Richmond, and the 139th installment of the Horsham Show – all during the school holiday period.
Officials predict the economic benefits of the motocross event – an event of national significance to the motocross community – to reach $1 million alone.
We’ve heard the tales – particularly from Friday’s public holiday – of Horsham’s bakeries selling out of pies, supermarkets struggling to keep up with an unprecedented demand for bread and beer and wait times at fast food outlets stretching to more than a half-hour.
That’s a great problem to have.
Traffic along the Western Highway was bumper to bumper in the days leading up to Saturday’s AFL grand final and the number of people taking a break at places such as May Park in Horsham and the Giant Koala at Dadswells Bridge was simply remarkable.
What a great opportunity it was for our towns, our retailers and eateries to showcase some of the great things the Wimmera has to offer and provide visitors and travellers with that needed rest and nourishment along their journey.
It’s becoming more common for businesses in the Wimmera to open their doors on public holidays, and it appears those who capitalised particularly on the traffic travelling from South Australia on Friday were duly rewarded.
The hosting of the motocross championship was a real coup for our local club and its volunteers have spent countless hours preparing for hundreds of competitors to arrive. What a great opportunity for this club, who will use the national event as a stepping stone for its tilt at hosting world championships in 2018.
It was also a time of trying new things for the organisers of the Horsham Show, whose revamped program saw the event grow to five days, including Saturday night’s carnival. We should support such innovation and help these new ideas to flourish and grow, so they might continue to expand.
Jessica Grimble, editor