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After a wet start, Magic on the Mehi continues today with perfect spring weather

RAIN has again forced the cancellation of key events in the Moree district – but the news is not all bad with new kid on the block Magic on the Mehi headlining a big weekend in Moree.

While today’s Collarenebri and Goondiwindi Cup meetings, as well as Moree junior soccer semi-finals, were abandoned after heavy overnight rain lashed the region, several other events will go ahead today as planned, with sunny skies and perfect spring weather the forecast.

Magic on the Mehi, supporting the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and Pallamallawa Public School, is three days of bush yarns, poetry, music and plenty of belly laughs and it began late yesterday as visitors braved rainy conditions for the opening night at the property, Wandoona on the Gwydirfield Road.

Organiser Murray ‘Muz’ Hartin said Magic on the Mehi will today showcase the talents of kids of all ages. There is also a song-writing workshop conducted by six-time Golden Guitar winner Luke O’Shea, who headlines tonight’s entertainment.

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Murray Hartin and Marco Gliori are key players at today’s Magic on the Mehi comedy, poetry and music festival at Wandoona on the Gwydirfield Road.

Muz said today was “all about the kids”.

“As well as the entertainment, we’re very keen to get the kids involved in the poetry,” he said.

“They can do individual poems or get together as a group of mates or a school group – they can sing if they want to.”

Muz, one of Australia’s best-loved bush poets whose vast body of work continues to inspire a nation, has in recent weeks has been giving talks at school assemblies and hosting student workshops to give children an insight in to the world of poetry.

“This is all about giving the kids the opportunity to get up on stage and perform, and to give them the confidence to perform,” he said.

The kids’ poetry competitions – with categories including under-8s, 9-12 years and 13 years and over – start today from 12-noon .

“There will be prizes for the kids but it’s all about putting them up there on the stage – and if any of their musical mates want to belt out a tune they will be more than welcome,” Muz said.

Luke O’Shea will conduct the song-writing workshop later in the afternoon before taking to the stage from around 6.30pm with Muz and fellow Naked Poet Marco Gliori and comedian Al Glover.

Also entertaining over the weekend are Luke and Sam Butler and Lousy Jack, Andrew Simpson, funnyman Al Glover and Moree’s own Contingency Plan.

A bus service will ferry patrons to Magic on the Mehi, starting at 5.30pm and again at 6:30pm with drop-offs at around 10pm.

Pick-up points will be:

– Moree Golf Club

– Royal Hotel Moree

– Moree on a Plate Long Lunch

– Gwydir Motel and Caravan Park

– Victoria Hotel Moree

– Mehi Caravan Park

The Moree on a Plate long lunch will go ahead as scheduled today at the Moree Plains Gallery from 12.30pm.

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The Moree on a Plate Long Lunch will go ahead today under sunny skies and perfect spring weather.

Moree on a Plate president Beth Kelly said the event complements the annual food and wine festival held each May and aims to further promote the region’s fresh and seasonal produce.

“It’s really just a day to thank the community, producers, business houses and our sponsors for their wonderful support of Moree on a Plate, and of course to further showcase our delicious local fare under the long lunch format,” Ms Kelly said.

Local Moree caterer Toby Osmond will deliver a five-course menu showcasing mouth-watering fresh fare.

“I have been amazed at the number of exciting suppliers in our area, there are literally dozens of producers included on the menu and it’s always so rewarding working with local growers,” Mr Osmond said.

Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre’s open day will also go ahead as scheduled.

Entry to MAAC in Motion is free from 11am until 3pm today and management invites the public to come and have a look through the complex. There will be competitions galore with more than $3000 worth of prizes on offer.

Meanwhile, today’s all-important Moree junior soccer semi-finals at Ron Harborne Oval have been postponed until next Saturday.

“This is the second week in a row we have had to cancel, so hopefully we can go ahead next week,” club president Terry-Anne Sharples said.

On a sadder note, the much-anticipated Joe and Jane Willis Memorial race meeting at Collarenebri today has been abandoned after heavy rain fell in the region late yesterday.

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The Joe and Jane Willis Memorial race meeting at Collarenebri today has been abandoned because of heavy overnight rain.

Club president Kate Willis, Joe and Jane’s daughter, said organisers were confident that the race-day would be a goer when widespread rain continued to miraculously miss the area yesterday.

“It really looked like we could have raced, even right up until late yesterday, but it really poured at about 5.50pm. We’ve had to abandon the meeting and we won’t race again until next year,” she said.

Today’s Goondiwindi Cup meeting has also been postponed after 25mm of rain fell on the track over night.

Goondiwindi Race Club is hopeful that the meeting will be rescheduled in early 2017.

Words: Bill Poulos and Georgina Poole

Images supplied