Newdegate ready to celebrate

Kate PollardCountryman

The gates are officially open for the 2012 Newdegate Machinery Field Days' 40th birthday celebrations.

The two-day event has gone from strength to strength, showcasing the latest machinery and livestock innovations for farming enterprises.

It also coincides with the Australian Year of the Farmer.

From humble beginnings in 1973, when some patrons demanded their money back, the Newdegate field days are now the town's number-one fundraiser with all the profits going back into the community for local projects.

To celebrate the milestone anniversary, the committee was planning a fireworks display on Wednesday evening and a performance from Zap Circus beforehand.

The official opening, on Wednesday at noon in the Family Interest Pavilion, was presented by the 2011 Australian Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Woman of the Year, Caroline Robinson, followed by the cutting of a cake.

Field day spokeswoman Stephanie Clarke-Lloyd said to help celebrate there would be free entry for children under 12 and they would also receive a pass for a free doughnut from the Isolated Children's Parents Association.

To help mark the special occasion, the 1921 Lance Bulldog tractor - the symbol of the field days - will be back in action.

Highlights of the field days include inventor and display awards, butcher demonstrations, judging of the ewe hogget competition and fashion parades with wool designs by Collette Dinnigan.

Ms Clarke-Lloyd said organisers were expecting strong numbers this year and plenty of support from exhibitors.

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