The Moree Picnic Races are on again later this month, celebrating their 99th anniversary this year with bigger crowds expected in the newly refurbished grandstand.
Moree Picnic Race Club is one of the oldest clubs in the northwest and the Moree Picnic Races have been an important social event for the Moree district since 1924. This year’s event, set for May 27th, will include a 6-race program during the day, with an evening function from 6pm for racegoers to celebrate well into the night.
A post-COVID recovery grant has enabled the Club to invest in upgrading and refurbishing their infrastructure to improve accessibility and comfort for those attending the races. The old grandstand at Moree Racecourse has been restricted for some time, due to concrete cancer weakening the structure making it unsafe for large numbers of spectators.
The major refurbishment of the 50-year-old grandstand, costing $1.1m, was unveiled in September 2022 by then Minister for Hospitality and Racing Mr Kevin Anderson. Mr Anderson reiterated the importance of regional racecourses in hosting events such as the Picnic Race days in “bringing their communities together for social cohesion while also supporting local jobs and tourism”.
In previous years, major race days have seen in the vicinity of 5000 punters and socialites in attendance. Events such as this not only provide an essential social outlet for the local community, but also encourages regional tourism, which is experiencing a post-COVID resurgence. With the new grandstand and a great committee to organise the event, Moree Picnic Races will continue to be a favourite on the social calendar for the district well beyond their centenary
Race day will be a great spectacular with ‘Fashions on the Field’ being a popular drawcard. Gates open at 12.00pm on May 27, with the first race at 12.30pm. Bring a picnic lunch or enjoy the on-track catering and bar facilities.
The evening entertainment kicks off from 6.00pm with a ‘Coat & Tie’ marquee dinner and live entertainment provided by hot Sydney-based R&B and Soul act ‘Mahogany Flow’. Food will be provided by popular Narrabri based Relish catering.
Race Day tickets are $25, and Evening Dinner Dance tickets – which includes race day entry (so only one ticket needed for day and night) – are $70 for members and $80 for non-members. No ticket sales will be available at the gate.
Top image: revellers at last year’s Moree Picnic Races (Heidi Morris)