Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival returns to stellar reception after two year absence

Zoe Thomas
By Zoe Thomas
Updated April 25 2022 - 9:36am, first published 5:55am
Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival committee members; Paul Woodhouse, Nathan James-Laneyrie, Natalie Maxwell, Robbie Hick, Rachael Anderson and Sheree Pratt. Members Georgia Crocker and Katie Woods were absent at time of photo. Photo: Zoe Thomas.

The 2022 Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival has officially wrapped up with outback Queensland coming alive again after feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thousands of keen festival goers descended upon the state's north west to soak up a weekend of country hospitality, colourful larrikins, and of course, to get dirty and dusty.

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A crowd of 2000 people were expected across the weekend, ballooning the tiny town of only 400 residents. The final attendance results are still being tallied.

The festival's new committee all voluntarily rolled up their sleeves to deliver a stellar weekend of rodeo action, trackside racing, a best butt competition and entertainment for all.

While the final attendance was still being tallied, committee member and event manager, Natalie Maxwell said the weekend was a success.

The festival featured a new adventure run and a saddle bronc ride on Friday night, which also proved a big hit.

"Our Friday night attendance has been the highest it has for many years," Ms Maxwell said.

"Just due to the change up of a different program with the saddle bronc ride as well.

"It brought a really good variety of a lot more people into town. It was locals, but also obviously a lot of people who had travelled a long way."

Julia Creek Motel manager Suzanne Devisser. Photo: Zoe Thomas.

Committee president, Robbie Hick of St Elmo Station, Julia Creek, said they estimated the event injected more than $1.5m into the local economy.

"We're working with Tourism and Events Queensland to undertake a visitor impact study to show the incredible impact events like this can create for regional and remote Australia,"

Local businesses felt the flow on affects with Julia Creek Motel manager Suzanne Devisser completely booked out.

"We had a really lovely crowd of people staying here this weekend," she said.

"It has just been absolutely wonderful.

"Moving into tourist season we're hoping to see a continued run of people through the town."

The committee also paid thanks to the sponsors of this year's event.

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"The support of the sponsors has been amazing," Ms Maxwell said.

"We are very grateful for our sponsors and we hope they have left feeling like we have given them something to want to come back to and support."

Winners are Grinners:

Check out all the winners from the 2022 Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival events held across the weekend.

Clonlara Droughtmasters Saddle Bronc Ride

Darcy Radel took out first place of the saddle bronc ride event earning 78.50pts on board 'Wicked Witch'. Photo: Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival.

Darcy Radel took out first place of the saddle bronc ride event earning 78.50pts on board 'Wicked Witch' to take home $4821.60 in prize money.

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South 32 DnD Outback Adventure Run

The South 32 DnD Outback Adventure Run featured an outback-style obstacle course. Photo: Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival.

Featuring an outback-style obstacle course, athletes participated over different 5km, 10km and 15km challenges.

Kayla Armstrong (39:48) and Charles Gay (29:56) took out the 5km event, Shanelle Flute (1:17:32) and Tom Cureton (1:02:19) the 10km course and Kimberley Alcorn (1:31:04) and Toby Wicks (1:28:17) winning the 15km event.

Multicom Artesian Express Race Day

Classic ladies winners; runner up Tenneil Cody of Julia Creek with winner Sarah Bohan of Mount Isa. Photo: Zoe Thomas.

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Fashions on the field were a centrepiece of the Multicom Artesian Express Race Day held at the Julia Creek Turf Club.

Sarah Bohan of Mount Isa took out the 'Classic Ladies' section with Tenneil Cody of Julia Creek as runner up.

Contemporary ladies winners; Crystal Adams of Cloncurry with runner up Amy Tinning of Julia Creek. Photo: Zoe Thomas.

Crystal Adams of Cloncurry took out the 'Contemporary Ladies' section with Amy Tinning of Julia Creek as runner up.

Rydweld Open Bull Ride

Townsville cowboy Jake Bowen took out the open bull ride event. Photo: Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival.

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Townsville cowboy Jake Bowen took out the open bull ride event onboard 'Red Line' scoring 85.50pts.

Mr Bowen took home $8379.70 in prize money and the champion buckle.

Multicom Australia's Best Butt

Janene Fegan of Julia Creek and Nicolas Thinee of Mount Isa took out the 2022 best butt competition. Photo: Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival.

Arguably, one of the favourited events across the weekend, locals and visitors alike shook their assets for the chance to be crowned 2022 best butt.

Janene Fegan of Julia Creek and Nicolas Thinee of Mount Isa took out this year's event to a roaring crowd of onlookers.

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Zoe Thomas

Zoe Thomas

Journalist - North Queensland Register/Queensland Country Life

Northern based journalist at North Queensland Register and Queensland Country Life.

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