"After all, Central Australia was once hidden underneath the Eromanga Sea, where remnants and fossils are etched into our history," says JAMES MELKY, son of the organiser of Monday's quirky annual event. Image from last year's parade.
Veterans, school kids, military, police, emergency services, American soldiers, mums and dads and babies in strollers – anyone can march in the Anzac Day Parade in Alice Springs. ERWIN CHLANDA reports.
Alice Springs folk turned out in their thousands, as participants and spectators, for the annual Bangtail Muster this morning, as though to show the world that the community in the heart of Australia is alive and well.
The town once again has had devastating world wide publicity after the alleged rape of two overseas tourists, and a string of other brutal crimes.
But on this May Day holiday, blessed by the town's trademark magnificent weather, young and old turned out to celebrate the achievements of Alice Springs – its great sporting clubs, child care, schools, music and above all, community spirit.
There was also a sprinkle of trade union members to mark Labour Day.
"Our Community" was the theme picked for this year by the organisers, the Rotary Club of Alice Springs. 40 floats were entered.
The Muster is their annual fundraiser for the local Youth Centre and is one of the Centre's major events.
The story behind the Muster goes back to the old days when cattle production was the main industry of the Centre and stockmen would cut off the ends of the tails to record the number of cattle mustered.
Pictured is Celine Ociones, 17, carrying a statue of Santo Nino, the holy child, Little Jesus.
She leads 21 dancers and musicians from the Mabuhay Multicultiral Association which has about 60 local families as its members.
Meanwhile, the Rotary Club of Alice Springs this year ran the Bangtail Muster parade at a loss, probably the first time in its 50 year history, because of NT Government requirements for a traffic management plan and licensed staff to implement it. Story and video by ERWIN CHLANDA.
Music, magic and messages marked the street parade launching the Alice Festival on Friday. The spectator crowd was small but those who came saw people in great costumes, lively dancing, bare bellied beauties, promoters of solar and opponents of nuclear power, lots of smiling children including the famous Drum Atweme drummers, people from all over the world who made Alice their home, and even a prancing poodle.