Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival changes days for 2018

THE month of May is a busy time for the Upper Hunter region.

So much so, that it’s causing a clash of dates for a number of popular events set for 2018, including the Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival.

The organisers have announced that for the first time in 37 years, the parade will be held on a Sunday.

The 2017 Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair was a great success.

The 2017 Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair was a great success.

The decision was made after festival president David Gatwood met with the Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair committee to discuss options regarding the two Upper Hunter events sharing the same date.

The Wine and Food Affair committee was eager to keep its Saturday date, and felt a change for the Horse Festival would prove beneficial for both events. 

“The Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair committee feel this date change is a very positive and important move which will impact the Upper Hunter greatly over the first weekend in May,” event manager Troy Jones said.  

“The change will bring thousands of visitors, from far and wide, to sample the very best of what we have to offer here in the Hunter Valley.”

The scheduling clash arose in 2016, after the Scone Cup Carnival was moved to the second weekend in May, a decision made by Racing NSW.

The Cup’s date change saw the horse parade move to the first weekend in May – the same day as the Denman-based Upper Hunter Wine and Food Affair.

Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival.

Scone and Upper Hunter Horse Festival.

Rather than ruffle feathers, Mr Gatwood decided to put forth the alternative option of a date change.

“After talks with the Food and Wine festival committee, there was no way they were going to change,” he said.

“This move is showing that I’m recognising they have a model and I’m willing to show some flexibility so that the whole community can enjoy both events.”

The idea is that people can travel to the Upper Hunter on the Saturday, enjoy the food and wine on offer in Denman, head to the rodeo in Scone that night, and finish the weekend off with the parade on Sunday morning.

By moving the dates, locals and travellers can enjoy the best of the Upper Hunter across the whole weekend.