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More than 10,000 at Steam Rally Echuca

Organisers are thrilled with this year's Steam Rally Echuca with an estimated 10,000 attending across the two days.

IVY WISE June 9, 2014 3:47am

John Sparks and his Showman's engine.


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Good weather saw thousands head to Rotary Park for the Echuca Steam Rally at the weekend.

An estimated 10,000 people walked through the gates across the two days to celebrate the magic and atmosphere of yesteryear.

Echuca Rotary vice-president and rally marketing co-ordinator Chrissy Weller hailed the weekend a success.

‘‘We know we’re nearly matching the 2012 event, as we knew we weren’t going to top the 50th anniversary last year,’’ she said.

‘‘This year has been a very good year with weather and lots of families attending.

‘‘It’s such a great atmosphere. The kids get so excited to see Thomas (the Tank Engine), the horses never fail to impress and the log pulling is just magic.’’

Mrs Weller said the event featured 600 exhibitors, with the Shand Mason horse-drawn steam fire pump, manufactured in the 1880s, the oldest machine on show.

Mrs Weller said this year was the first time the Australian Axeman Competition was held as a two-day event.

‘‘This attracts a different crowd and different dynamics,’’ she said.

Midland Axeman Association member and competition announcer Harold Suckling said 48 competitors from across Victoria, NSW, South Australia and Tasmania took part; some of whom were national and world champions.

‘‘The standard was perfect, 100 per cent,’’ Mr Suckling said.

‘‘The Echuca Steam Rally would have to be one of the best events in Victoria.’’

Although the money raised from the rally has not been tallied, Mrs Weller hoped to reach the $50,000 mark.

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