By Ian Beeck | posted on October 3, 2019
“BLOODY massive” was how Great Southern Classic Car Show Chairperson Ron Barnett described this inaugural event, but he could have been referring to the region over the long weekend.
It was a jam-packed weekend of world-class events including the Southern Peaks festival, the Albany Show and Shine, the Australian Native Plant Society National Conference coupled with the AFL Grand Final and fantastic weather.
Mr Barnett said the car show in Denmark attracted more than 4000 people and would now be a permanent fixture on the regional calendar.
He said planning has already gone into next year’s event and the retail community and locals were behind them.
“Next year will be bigger than Ben Hur, we’ll have period costumes, a lot more cars … Denmark is now a motor town,” he said.
Amazing South Coast Chair Dennis Wellington said the long weekend was a good result with the region full of people.
“We’ll be gradually increasing the amount of events being run each year until the Albany Bicentennial celebrations in 2026,” he said.
“We’re just going to get bigger and better.”
Albany Mountain Bike Club President Nick Walls said the Southern Peaks festival had a turnout of around 400 competitors over the weekend with more than half from out of town.
“We have had excellent feedback on the events, all competitors were really stoked with the XC course and the Urban Downhill course,” he said.
“The spectator highlights are always the jumps comp on Saturday night which brought hundreds of people onto the Albany streets.
“And the Urban on Sunday brought hundreds, if not thousands onto the streets – a great contribution to the sport, local business and the community.”
White Star Hotel Owner David Steytler said the weekend’s events were world-class for locals to enjoy but also brought hundreds of participants and their families into the region.
“They have allowed us to showcase all that we have to offer; a vibrant town centre, local food, beer, spirits and wine, our friendly people and of course our beautiful natural scenery. We can all be proud of the Albany that was on show last weekend,” he said.
“There was a brilliant community feel that we don’t see enough in Albany – attractions that bring a wide cross-section of the community together to experience the vibrancy that we should create in our CBD more often. It was great to see so many people out and about supporting the event and the surrounding local businesses.”
Geoff Waldeck from Six Degrees said the Queen’s birthday long weekend was an exciting people-fuelled boom for the region.
“Having such high standard, internationally-attended events on our doorstep was huge for Albany,” he said.
“The buzz around town was noticeable.”