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6 June, 2022

Ute muster to be a popular addition to Cooktown festival

It's an event that will help keep locals stay in town for the festive weekend.

By Matt Nicholls

Lauren Bowyer loves her ute and has organised this year’s ute muster, to be held in conjunction with the Cooktown Discovery Festival.

A UTE muster will make its debut at the upcoming Cooktown Discovery Festival and organiser Lauren Bowyer is hoping it becomes an annual event.

“It was my mum’s idea,” she said.

“I think we were talking about the festival and how it used to be a great weekend for locals.

“There was a thought that it had become aimed at tourists.

“Lately, every year we start talking about going away for the weekend rather than sticking around for the festivities.”

Irene Bowyer (nee Doughboy) told Lauren that she should do something about it.

“She said someone should do a ute muster,” Lauren said.

“I have a ute and my partner has been working on a ute, so I went to talk to the council about getting a ute muster as part of the festival.

“They were really supportive of the idea but just didn’t have enough resources to organise it, so we put it together.”

Lauren said the support from the community, especially local businesses, had been amazing.

“I started contacting people I know to drum up interest and it was unbelievable,” she said.

“Kenny and Stef from Auswaste contacted us and were really generous with their support.

“We’ve had a lot of other businesses sponsor it as well.”

The ute muster will form part of the Cooktown Discovery Festival parade, with prizes up for grabs in a number of categories.

“I’m not sure how many utes we’ll get this year but I know that if we do it next year we’ll get a lot more,” Lauren said.

“A guy in Bundaberg reckons he can get 100 utes up here.

“I think I might have created a monster!”

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