FURRY FRIENDS: Billy the Bilby waves to the crowds in last year's float parade.
FURRY FRIENDS: Billy the Bilby waves to the crowds in last year's float parade. Monique Johnson

Focusing on our furry friends this week for Bilby festival

IN ITS fourth year running, Charleville will be booming this weekend with a focus on all things bilby.

The annual Charleville Bilby Festival not only raises awareness of our endangered furry friends, but boosts the towns economy by attracting tourists from all over the country.

Tourism manager for Murweh Shire Council, Monique Johnson, said the festival is rapidly becoming more well known, with local accommodation getting in the spirit by advertising.

"By having the festival spread over three days, it's really great for businesses and gives tourists the chance to see the great things our town has on offer,” Mrs Johnson said.

The jam-packed weekend of entertainment really has something on offer for everyone, with the float parade always being a highlight.

"Charleville loves any excuse for a party, each event brings different numbers and it's good to have something a bit quirkier,” Mrs Johnson said.

"There's really something for everyone, we have a boots 'n' ballgown fur ball, a family fun day, an eat off competition and we've had over 30 entries for the float parade.

"Then Sunday is National Bilby Day at the bilby centre, where people will get to see live bilbies and understand how the Save the Bilby Funds work, which is the whole purpose of the festival.”

For the first time, a bilby cart derby has been introduced with organiser Leanne Day saying it's way of bringing the Charleville community together to improve community engagement and spirit.

"It's a way of involving the whole community and I think the billy cart derby will add to the bilby festival by attracting people into town and also tourists who will remain in town for the duration of the festival,” she said.

"It's a unique event that will hopefully draw a crowd and become an annual event.”