Bangtail Muster draws big crowd on glorious day


2536 Bangtail Dance 1By ERWIN CHLANDA
A brilliant autumn day and a parade with lots of kids, applauding adults, special cars and a pinch of politics – that’s heaven for the average Alice Springs local.
The Bangtail Muster this morning, a fundraiser by the Rotary Club of Alice Springs, had the Todd Street and the Mall lined with 4000 people and 40 floats were on the move.
Take “floats” in its broadest sense: Driving, riding, walking, dancing and waving from the back of trucks and the cabins of fire engines – it was all part of it. Even a battle ship from the iconic Henley on Todd was there.
The girls from the Studio B School of Dance (above) deservedly won “best in parade” for their joyful, energetic display.
Others (pictured) were Aces and Eights – Special Interest Vehicles; Mobuhay Multi Cultural Association; Red Centre BMX Club; Alice Springs Motorcycle Club; Independent Education Union, Rona Glynn preschool; Bradshaw Preschool; Arunga Park Speedway; Electrical Trades Union and a midshipman looking down from the Naughteus battleship.
2536 Bangtail Dance 2
2536 Bangtail Dance 3
2536 Bangtail cars
2536 Bangtail Cultural
2536 Bangtail BMX
2536 Bangtail Arunga
2536 Bangtail Education Union
2536 Bangtail Rona Glynn preschool
2536 Bangtail Bradshaw preschool
2536 Bangtail Arunga 1
2536 Bangtail ETU
2536 Bangtail Naughtyus


  1. You missed the electric vehicles editor. Otherwise a great story.
    [ED – Thanks, Richard. Yes, they were there.]

  2. The May Day Sports afternoon after the Muster was a traditional feature that is fondly remembered.
    Under the guidance of Mrs Joan Higgins at the Youth Centre at Anzac Hill, the sports day was a genuine all-of-community get together that resonated with every section of the Alice community.
    Who can ever forget the magic twinkle toes of Betty Campbell as she regularly blitzed her rivals in the women’s section of the Alice Gift? Betty was still beating her own teenage daughters well past the age when most mums had their feet up enjoying middle age.
    The tug of war and throwing the rolling pin were genuine crowd pleasers that drew crowds of 3000 to 4000 at Traeger at its peak in the 70s.
    The commercialisation of May Day with the introduction of thoroughbred racing and the Alice Cup at Pioneer Park, together with ridiculous public liability imposts, signalled the beginning of the end.
    In 2002 at Anzac Hill the Sports Day finally drew to a close. Mrs Higgins at the entrance gate with tears in her eyes. It was the only time I ever saw Mrs Higgins cry.
    Wonderful memories of a very happy day of togetherness for all Alicians.
    So sad that moneyed interests choked the life out of such a spontaneous expression of the Alice community soul.


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