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Nineteen years of success for 10-day Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster

May 29, 2019 Events / Whats On No Comments Email Email

The 10-day Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster has seen record crowds at some key events and thousands entertained during Australia’s most unique event that was held in Kununurra, Western Australia from 17 to 26 May, 2019.

From food to music, dinners to diamond-digging, cooking to corroboree, and rodeo to rocking parties, the festival line up featured more than 30 events with new additions and annual favourites attracting young and old to celebrate the start of the tourism season in the East Kimberley.

New this year was the free Muster Opening Night that set the vibe and kicked off the festival with the biggest Argyle Diamond Dig in the event’s history that saw three lucky winners dig up diamonds valued at over $2,300, country musician Tom Curtain entertain the 2000-strong crowd with sing-a-longs and his dog and horse show, and a spectacular fireworks finale over Lake Kununurra.

The Jim Hughes Amphitheatre on the banks of the Ord River was transformed to the Muster Hub.

Over two nights it generated big belly laughs at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Roadshow.

Wednesday was the Ord Valley Farmers FEASTival presented by OrdCo with cooking demonstrations by MasterChef 2018 top ten Brendan Pang, chef Mark Olive and BBQ expert David Lamb, as well as interesting agricultural discussions by a panel of Ord Valley producers in front of a record crowd of 300.

Saturday night was the climatic Aviair HeliSpirit Kimberley Moon Experience and the adjoining black-tie Kimberley Fine Diamonds Dinner headlined Australia’s hottest artist Amy Shark, along with multi-platinum musician Pete Murray and Skinnyfish Sound System with their blend of traditional aboriginal and modern beats.

The Aviair HeliSpirit Kimberley Moon Experience, which delivered an unforgettable evening of entertainment to a crowd of 2,600, introduced the Vintage Garden mid-tier hospitality option to the iconic Australian must-attend event.

The crowd looked skywards as entertainment began with two aerobatic planes performing jaw-dropping technical manoeuvres with smoke trails over the Ord River, the pilots withstanding forces up to 7G during the display.

At the start of the evening, Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley President David Menzel announced that Alliance Airlines, code-sharing with Virgin Australia, would start direct air services between Melbourne and Kununurra from May 2020, in time for the Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster 20th anniversary. There have never been direct flights from Melbourne to Kununurra before.

In attendance was the Honourable Alannah MacTiernan MLC Minister for Regional Development and she announced a $250,000 tourism marketing campaign to support the new air service.

Other highlight events during the ten-day Muster include record crowds at the Rodeo attracting about 2,400 people and the Corroboree Under the Stars at the Waringarri Arts Centre with a record-breaking 450 people in attendance.

Ord Valley Events Chair Narelle Brook said that the Muster has gone from strength to strength and is the perfect way to kick start the East Kimberley tourism season.

“A lot of hard work by a small number of people make this event such a success, and no more so than this year with the appointment of a new event management agency who only had six months to do the work of a year. It’s so satisfying to see it all come together and even more so to see the community embracing it,” Ms Brook said.

“The Opening Night was a terrific new addition this year that created a real buzz around town and had everyone talking.”

Ms Brook thanked event sponsors and friends for their continued support, in particular the State Government of Western Australia through Tourism WA Events, Argyle Diamonds, Aviair HeliSpirit, Kimberley Fine Diamonds, Triple J Tours, GWN7, McLean Enterprises, Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley, Lotterywest and Hamark Events.

The Argyle Diamonds Ord Valley Muster is a nine-time Festival and Events winner at the WA Tourism Awards and in 2011 and 2017, twice inducted into the Hall of Fame as well as the Kimberley Moon Experience inducted in 2008. In 2015, the Ord Valley Muster won ‘Best Regional Event’ at the Australian Event Awards.

The State Government is a proud supporter of the event through Tourism WA’s Regional Events Program.

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