85,000 expected through Beef Week gates
HUNDREDS of cattle took over the Rockhampton Showgrounds on the weekend as the days until this year's Beef Week turned into hours.
In what is expected to be the biggest Beef Week Australia so far with a record-breaking international attendance rate, it's no wonder on-site preparations for the iconic event started two weeks ago.
But in the final few hours of preparation yesterday in the lead up to the gates officially opening, the grounds were covered in tradesmen, school children from all across Australia, farmers and breeders from near and far and, of course, a lot of cows.
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Beef Australia chief executive officer Denis Cox said setting up for the week was a massive task but was well worth it for the week ahead.
"This place was just full of trucks, tractors and hundreds of tradespeople over the weekend but it's all come together and we're ready for the gates to open," Mr Cox said.
"We're expecting over 85,000 through the gates over the next five days. We've got 500 trade sites and 2000 head of cattle so it's going to be huge.
"We've got over 1000 registered international guests which is a record and we've exhausted all of the accommodation in Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Emu Park and Mt Morgan so we've started putting people up in Gladstone. It just shows the popularity, Rocky's going to be packed to the rafters which is great for the community because it's new money to our region, particularly after cyclone Marcia."
Mr Cox said he hoped everyone in Rockhampton would come along to Beef Week to see that it was not just for people with agricultural interests.
"We've got an entertainment stage that's non-stop right throughout the week. We've got a lot of local entertainment which is really great," Mr Cox said.
"We've also got a big emphasis on the food side of the event as well so Beef Week is for everyone and it offers a whole range of things to keep the whole family happy."