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Picked, packed and ready for fun

Ute enthusiasts, country revellers and singles looking for love expected for Koonoomoo's inaugural country ball.

ROB HENSON June 27, 2014 3:15am

Having a ball: Caitlyn Chambers and best friend Nicole Wevels at the Colac Titpullers Ball in March earlier this year.


Mansfield resident Caitlyn Chambers picked the name and is now packing a swag for the inaugural Koonoomoo Pickers and Packers Charity Ball.

Ute enthusiasts, country revellers and singles looking for love will hit Koonoomoo Recreation Reserve this Saturday, June 28.

Apex Club event chairman Adrian Salter said the finishing touches on the ball were being put together.

‘‘Everything’s in place, it’s really a matter of everything arriving and putting everything up.’’

Koonoomoo Recreation Reserve is set to be transformed, with a marquee to be erected Thursday and temporary fencing on Friday.

‘‘Then it’s all systems go for the weekend,’’ Mr Salter said.

Cobram Barooga Apex Club held a competition through Facebook to name the ‘bachelors and spinsters’ event, with entries arriving from around Australia.

Mansfield’s Caitlyn Chambers came up with the winning entry which she said was inspired by a little local knowledge.

‘‘My parents originally met in Shepparton, so I knew it was a fruit-growing area. And pickers and packers are commonly used words.

‘‘There’s the little bit of the naughty side about (the name) but you can still get away with advertising it.’’

The equine myotherapist said she had been to ‘‘five or six’’ B&S balls.

‘‘It’s great when you live in the country and there’s not a whole lot going on sometimes,’’ Ms Chambers said.

‘‘You tend to get the same people going to them, so it’s a good chance to catch up with your mates. There’s people who you don’t even know their last name — but you meet them at balls and you don’t know them any other way.

‘‘We all look forward to it, counting down the days on Facebook,’’ she said. ‘‘Plus, it’s an excuse for a road trip.’’

Ms Chambers said friends from as far as Geelong, Horsham and South Australia were coming to see what the ball could offer.

‘‘I’m probably assuming it won’t be crazy busy,’’ she said.

‘‘Elmore and Finley get big because they’ve been around for so long, but I quite like the smaller ones, like Harrow, where you can see the same people on the same night — it’s not like you run into them then lose them.

‘‘Hopefully the community gets on board and are happy to have one; it’s getting harder and harder to keep them going, with liquor licensing.’’

Ms Chambers wished to thank the Apex club committee organisers for initiating the ball.

‘‘They’ve done a great job to consider it, let alone organise it.

‘‘There used to be one every week somewhere in Australia, now they’re few and far between. It’s really cool to see one starting again from scratch.’’

Mr Salter said organisers were hoping to exceed initial estimates of about 400 people.

‘‘There’ll be plenty of colour and movement. Decorated utes everywhere — a bit like the Deni Ute Muster. Should be pretty interesting,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve had strong ticket sales, a lot of inquiries.’’

The Koonoomoo Recreation Reserve car park will open at noon on Saturday, with event gates opening at 8pm.

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