Dust off your boots for BnS
AS RURAL B&S balls appear to be making a comeback, the Emerald Show Society is hoping to raise thousands of dollars for the Western Queensland Drought Appeal with the Emerald Boots N Ballgowns B&S later this month.
Show society treasurer Samantha Elsden said the first Bachelor and Spinster Ball in 20 years was held last year, attracting about 450 people, and this year she was hoping for similar numbers.
"We knew that they would be popular again and it's exciting to see people say they didn't know what it was and they're definitely coming back and they're bringing that tradition back,” Ms Elsden said.
The modern balls derived from town dances, which were a chance for single people in the area to meet, but by the 1980s and 1990s B&S balls had become hugely popular parties for revellers from all around the state.
Over the past few years, however, stricter liquor licensing laws and public indemnity insurance made the balls more difficult to organise.
Ms Elsden said now the charity events were regaining popularity, they were a great way to draw people to the region and boost tourism as well as raise funds.
"We try to pick something every year that is important to the locals and important to the struggles that we're facing at the moment and obviously helping our neighbours in drought is pretty important to us at the moment,” she said.
She said people from regional areas often came to the balls to have fun and relax.
"It can be fairly isolating for them so to come to something and have fun with new people and sometimes be a little bit silly can help,” she said.
Last year people travelled from around Queensland and Australia, including the Northern Territory, Melbourne, Moranbah, Mackay and Longreach.
"The balls are something for the younger generation to experience - they're such a rural Aussie tradition that we thought we should bring them back,” Ms Elsden said.
"They've changed and evolved - you can't go too crazy but we try to allow as much fun as we can.
"Everyone was really well behaved last year and everyone just wanted to have some fun. There was no bad behaviour and no fighting.”
She said she hoped the events would be "uplifting” for those farmers and property owners battling drought conditions.
"I hope they can have a great night out and feel the support from the entire community - not necessarily just the agriculture community but the miners, shopkeepers and different business who help.”
The Rotary Club of Emerald will be cooking dinner and a recovery breakfast for the event.
The dress code is formal but Ms Elsden advised wearing something that would be OK to "be ruined”.
"Find a nice outfit from the op shop and then you don't have to worry about it getting wrecked,” she said.
She said activities during the day would include a speed dating service, best butt competition, singles auction and a food-dye battle obstacle course.
There will also be the Emerald and Central Highlands Ute Muster, where winners become eligible to enter the Queensland Shows Ute Muster.
MC for the day is Instagram star and Facebook platform Young Aussie Farmers founder Zoe Carter and performing will be Mackay band Bareback and DJ Richter from Rockhampton.
The Emerald Show Society B&S Ball is on April 27, from 11am, at the Emerald Showgrounds.
Tickets are $100 if pre-ordered online and $110 at the gate.
Go to the Emerald Show Society Facebook page or website to order.