Field of dreams as Mareeba celebrates

Rotary FNQ Field Days 2019 hailed a success


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SUCCESS: The Rotary FNQ Field days was the largest and most successful yet.

SUCCESS: The Rotary FNQ Field days was the largest and most successful yet.

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They didn't quite crack the magic 20,000 mark, but organisers of the Rotary FNQ Field Days were thrilled with their most successful event yet.

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THEY didn't quite crack the magic 20,000 mark, but organisers of the Rotary FNQ Field Days were thrilled with their most successful event yet.

The largest field days in northern Australia was held in Mareeba last month and attracted upward of 19,000 people over the three days.

The event, which was held at the Mareeba Rodeo Grounds from May 29-31, was the largest ever staged, with over 500 exhibitors on about 600 sites.

Rotary FNQ Field Days chairwoman Ida Portella said the event had attracted both exhibitors and visitors from across Queensland.

"It has been exceptional, we had wonderful feedback from exhibitors and also a lot of the public who attended in relation to the organisation.

"We ended up over the three days over 19,000, didn't quite hit 20,000, but I think the wet weather on Friday may have kept some away.

"We've definitely had significant growth, I've been part of it for 20 years and over the last five year's we've tripled the numbers.

"We had a lot of people from the Burdekin, from all over, it is surprising how far they will travel to come to this event."

Ms Portella said while the event had a strong agricultural focus, there was something on offer for everyone.

"There were some exhibitors who came for the first time and it was absolutely very agricultural focused though there were a few lifestyle exhibitors and some retailers."

Ms Portella said the organising committee was already thinking of ways to improve the event, which is held every second year, with new and unique offerings for 2021.

She said the event was great for the entire region, with accommodation houses booked out across the Tablelands and local businesses enjoying the influx of visitors to the region.

Ms Portella said volunteerism was at the heart of the field days and thanked the hundreds of volunteers who made the event possible, including Tolga's Geoff Redington, 94, and his wife Honor, 93.

Mr Redington has been a Rotarian for 48 years and said he believed volunteering benefited the entire community.

"We feel society is better when people are willing to put back into their community," Mr Regington said.

"I believe the Rotary FNQ Field Days is a great example of that; there are hundreds of people who have contributed their time and energy to make this event a success."

Agriculture Minister Mark Furner travelled to Mareeba to officially open the event and said he was impressed with the set up.

"When you have a look at the stalls that are on offer, you see the strength that is in agriculture in Far North Queensland," Mr Furner said.

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