WITH an increased flock for their grand parade and healthy crowds, Merriwa has enjoyed another highly successful start to their annual Festival of the Fleeces.
Festival committee member Ron Campbell said the improvement of the flock was synoptic of the season.
The flock has increased from 60 last year to 236 in 2019, each ranging in weight from 80 to 90 kilograms, making it quite a task for organisers to slip red socks onto each one.
"They are certainly well conditioned to the effect of being fat!" he said.
"That's what happens with the Merriwa country; we just had the one rain event and that's the result because the quality of the feed is so good."
While the skies opened yet again during the town's much-loved event it didn't cause discomfort, in-fact locals welcomed the showers with the hope that more would follow.
"The problem now is the drought really hasn't broken, we're in these dry series of seasons and we just haven't had any drought breaking rain," Mr Campbell said.
Mr Campbell applauded the size of the crowd in attendance and said he was very pleased by the numbers.
"Our festival is one of the icons of Merriwa," he added.
"We'd like to thank everybody for their support and we look forward to enjoying our fireworks tonight.
"Of course we think our fireworks are as good as anyone's - only on a smaller scale.
"It's just great to be part of the Festival of the Fleeces."
The program of events continues into tomorrow with a poet's breakfast and team penning competition at the Merriwa Showground which has enjoyed a high number of entries.
The continued support for the event proves that Merriwa is a very popular destination for tourists and locals alike over the long weekend.
"The facilities here have been upgraded and are continuing to be upgraded which means that people can continue to enjoy not only the spectacle but also great facilities through the day," Mr Campbell concluded.