What's the story behind Casino Beef Week?
It started in 1982 as an idea on how to promote the country town. The mayor at the time (Gerry Kelly) and a former resident who also happened to be a business consultant (Michael Zann), put their heads together and came up with the tender beginnings of what would eventually grow into the Casino Beef Week festival.
With cattle the main industry for the town, it was only logical that they be the highlight of the festival. So much so - cattle parading through the main street of Casino has become synonymous with the festivities.
As Beef Week continued to grow, so too did the events with everything from the creation of the Beef Week Queen to the popular breakfast with the butchers to the grand parade complete with colourful floats and loads of street entertainment.
Now approaching its 25th anniversary, Casino Beef Week continues to be one of the region's most popular festivals, attracting an average of 20,000 people into the town's centre on the main Saturday alone.
Defying shaky and grim outlooks due to the economic downturn, Casino Beef Week remains as strong as the cattle industry it's built on; and 2009 promises to be bigger, better and more memorable than ever.
When is it on?
The Country Energy 2009 Casino Beef Week Festival will be held from Tuesday, May 26 until Tuesday, June 2.
What can I expect to see/do at Beef Week?
This is one festival that knows how to pack in a whole heap of entertainment and fun into one short week.
Being the 25th anniversary, attendees of Beef Week can expect an array of activities that will entertain the entire family.
Some of the exciting events on this year's calendar include:
- Fashion parade
- Free circus workshops
- Official opening masquerade ball
- Beef industry free breakfast
- Cow pat lotto
- Street parade
Search for other Country Energy 2009 Casino Beef Week Festival events.
For a full event listing including days, times and venues, check out the official Country Energy 2009 Casino Beef Week Festival website.
How much is it?
Most of the entertainment around town is free (that includes the huge Beef Industry breakfast). Of course, major events like the masquerade ball, rodeo, fashion parade, and the scenic coach tour may come at a price.
While the site doesn't have a price list, you can contact the Beef Week Coordinator, Alex Lubanski on (02) 6662 8181. You can also visit the official Beef Week website for more details as the festival draws closer to the starting date.
How do I get there?
Situated along the Richmond River, Casino is located 30km west of Lismore in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales.
View Casino, NSW in a larger map
Getting there by car is easy. If you're coming from Brisbane, simply follow the Pacific Highway and head into Lismore where you will find the Bruxner Highway that will lead you to Casino.
If you're coming from the southern areas, you can use either the New England Highway (which is the inland journey) or the Pacific Highway. Again - you will find the roads will get you to Casino.
If driving isn't your thing; there are rail, bus and air options.
Countrylink offers rail services directly to Casino from either Brisbane or Sydney. Check out their website for details and prices.
There are a number of options available.
If you're staying in the Lismore area, there's the local bus service, Northern Bus Lines aka Kirklands which has services running to and from Casino.
Alternatively, if you prefer being in the heart of the action and want to stay in Casino, coach services like Greyhound and Premier Motor Service have various options available. Their websites have the prices and timetables available.
The closest airport to Casino is the one in Lismore. Regional Express Airlines (REX) fly direct to Lismore. From there you can either hire a car, catch a bus or (for a more expensive option) - take a taxi to Casino.
For REX details - you can find them at their official website.
The other airport is in Ballina. Airlines like Jet Star and Virgin Blue fly into Ballina from Brisbane, the Gold Coast and southern NSW areas regularly; so check out their sites for more details. REX also flies into Ballina, but on a less frequent basis (note REX do not have flights from Brisbane).
Casino has plenty of accommodation options available for all sorts of budgets. From caravan parks and camping grounds to hotels, motels, hostels and the family-friendly Bed and Breakfasts; you're sure to find something to rest your weary head after a full day of Beef Week events.
Some of the pubs in Casino might even offer accommodation - so be sure to check them out as well.
Just note - bookings for accommodation will go fast. To find the best deal try roamfree.com.
Should I stay or should I go?
With fresh country air combined with hospitable locals, awesome free entertainment and a week of great fun; Casino's Beef Week really is the place to be.
So get amongst it and support a great Aussie icon and industry by heading to the Country Energy 2009 Casino Beef Week Festival. It'll be 'moovellous'.
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