Festival lights up the night in Dardanup

Countryman

A record crowd of more than 15,000 people flocked to Dardanup recently for the 11th annual Bull and Barrel Festival.

Show chairwoman Jill Cross said the festival was a fabulous day out which went off without a hitch.

"The crowd was a big increase on last year's numbers, which was probably a reflection of additional attractions and the sunshine," she said.

"We had a sand sculpture artist, the Dream State Circus, farm animals and a variety of stalls."

Ms Cross said the crowd all congregated at the climax of the night, when the lights went out and the sacrificial wooden bull was burnt.

As the crowd chanted "burn the bull, burn the bull", fire guns from Dream State Circus set the 8m structure alight as clouds of smoke and roaring flames engulfed it.

Everyone cheered as the bull crashed to the ground in a final salute to what many believed was a great day out.

In a sacrifice intended as a tribute to the Dardanup Shire's rural industries, Russell Sheridan watched his three weeks of manual labour turn to ash.

The 8m x 9m wooden bull was crafted with the help of Roman Maral using aWizard of Oz theme.

"Each year the bull is different, but this time I decided to make it look like one big toy," he said.

Mr Sheridan said was happy to see his hard work burnt, providing it did so without fault and looked amazing. "It's the highlight of the festival and it has to be something worthwhile," he said.

Atop the gigantic structure were the four main characters from the classic children's tale, Dorothy, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, as well as a rainbow and the Wicked Witch of the West.

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