Clare Valley Racing Club officials are genuinely excited about their traditional Easter Saturday meeting returning to the picturesque racecourse this weekend – and up to 5000 people can share their enthusiasm.
The club was unable to stage its famous Easter meeting last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, while its Clare Cup day meeting was shifted from its normal November date to late January.
However, this Saturday the club is preparing to go back to the future, with up to 5000 patrons allowed for its Easter meeting. Early bookings and the promise of perfect weather point towards a bumper day.
“At our 2019 Easter meeting we had about 4000 people and tickets are going crazy at the moment, so it’s looking good,” said club secretary Tanya Bertelsmeier.
“It’s fantastic that we’ve got the numbers back. We’re allowed 5000, so we’re basically back to normal and that’s pretty exciting.
“The weather’s going to be fantastic too – they’re predicting 30 degrees.”
While the club, racegoers and industry participants are pleased to have the meeting back, Ms Bertelsmeier said the event is particularly important to different sections of the local community.
“Well, it’s important for the club to get back on track after missing last Easter,” she said.
“We hope there’s only good things to come from now on.
“But I’ve also had so many locals say it’s great because everything in Clare is booked out – there are virtually no vacancies anywhere. So, that shows how important this meeting is.
“We also give work to the local Scouts, that’s their major fundraiser, and it’s the major fundraiser of the year for the BSR (Brinkworth Spalding Redhill) and Blythe-Snowtown football clubs.
“There are quite a few local clubs who make a lot of money from this race day as well, so it helps them out.
“All the cellar doors around here get a lot of business come through, plus all the shops. One of the ladies who’s got a fashion boutique down the main street said she’s been selling lots of outfits already.
“It’s just really good for the community.”
Fortunately, the track and surrounds will be in perfect condition for Saturday’s influx of racegoers.
“I have to say, the grounds and the track are looking amazing,” Ms Bertelsmeier said.
“We purchased an extra 12 megalitres of water – a one-off purchase – last year and that water has made a big difference. Everything is green and looking really nice.”
Ms Bertelsmeier said the club is grateful its loyal sponsors have stuck with it this year.
The club has plenty of catering available on track, while a new addition this year is an outdoor “bubbly bar”, with live music adjacent, along with chairs and tables.
“There’ll be plenty of food and drink for all,” Ms Bertelsmeier said.
The club will host a seven-race program, with gates opening at 11.30am.
Get your tickets to Clare's Easter Saturday races here.