Showgrounds now tent city
AS Michael McDouall drove his ute around the Rockhampton Showgrounds yesterday, he predicted next month's Beef 2006 Expo to be the "biggest event'' the city had ever seen.
The Beef 2006 site manager said preparations were well under way with less than two weeks to go.
"It will definitely be bigger than Beef 2003 and it will bring Rockhampton to a whole new level,'' Mr McDouall said.
The mango farmer from Kabra who worked at Beef 2003 and Horse 2005 took on the job last October and said so far everything was on schedule to be finished on time.
"We've got about 40 semi-trailer loads coming in with tents to go around the grounds, and about 60 guys erecting them on site,'' Mr McDouall said.
The tents, which are fully equipped with power and lighting, will house more than 2100 head of stud cattle and trade fair exhibits.
A two-storey restaurant is also being constructed which will be one of six sit-down restaurants on the grounds.
More than 50,000 people are expected through the gates over the week-long expo with about 500 international visitors attending.
The trade fair starts at 10am on Wednesday, May 3, at the Showgrounds and will finish on the Saturday night with the Beef Ball at the Robert Schwarten Pavilion.
For most of the week the pavilion will be used as a rodeo arena, and the biggest job for Mr McDouall and his team will be transforming it into a ballroom in less than 24 hours.