Historic race set to be another crowd pleaser

The Binda Picnic Races is an event for the whole family, says secretary treasurer Dianne Layden.
The Binda Picnic Races is an event for the whole family, says secretary treasurer Dianne Layden.

It is one of the few bush picnic race meetings in the state that is still running. 

Set up on a working farm with races organised around the paddock, there is a unique charm to the annual Binda Picnic Races, which draws thousands to the district every year.

Secretary treasurer for this year’s races, Dianne Layden, says this year will be no different. Clear, sunny skies are forecast to shine down on the excited race goers. 

“It is a different experience for people attending bush picnics then a more professional race meetings,” Ms Layden said. “That seems to be what brings the people in.” 

Established in 1848, this is the 74th continuous year for the race day, with national and international conflicts interrupting its race days in the past. 

About 2000 people usually attend this event, this year scheduled for Saturday, March 17. Gates will open at 10am with the first race beginning at 12.30pm. The last race will be run at 4.50pm. 

Students of Crookwell Public School will run a barbecue lunch for the day and the bar will be run by the staff of the Laggan Hotel. 

It’s a generational thing. Family members continue the tradition of the races by coming year after year. It’s always happy faces when we take photos at the races.

Dianne Layden, Binda Picnic Races secretary treasurer

Due to licensing, there will be a strict no glass policy on the day, which was enforced when the Crookwell Picnic Race committee met with licensing authorities early this year. 

Ms Layden said she did not foresee any problems in this change, with the committee widely advertising the new rule.

Beyond the races, hotly contested fashion on the fields and events throughout the day, all with the theme of family, is a trend that never falters. “It is a very successful family day as well, that’s what we notice,” Ms Layden said.

“It’s a generational thing. Family members continue the tradition of the races by coming year after year. It’s always happy faces when we take photos at the races.” 

The Crookwell Services Club, Criterion Hotel, Binda Store and Laggan Hotel are offering packages including bus travel to and from the races throughout the day. 

Tickets: $30 per person.

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