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Community prepares a warm welcome for Great Vic cyclists

12 November 2019

On Saturday 23 November approximately 4,500 cyclists will arrive in Millicent for an overnight stop-over as part of the 2019 Great Vic Bike Ride.

Although this event has been running for over 30 years, the Great Vic Bike Ride is venturing into South Australia for the first time this year.

The event will begin in Robe and participants will pedal their way through the Limestone Coast and along the Great Ocean Road to their ultimate destination in Torquay, Vic.

“With riders having the option to select either a 5-day ride or 10-day ride, they are fully supported by event organisers The Bicycle Network, and are expected to be accompanied by up to 500 supporters along the way. This will be a once-off opportunity for our local communities to benefit from this visit,” Council’s Manager Economic Development, Roger Babolka said.

“Accommodation in Millicent has been booked out since February 2019. The riders are a mix of young and old, with 40 percent being school students who are likely to be followed along the way by friends and family. It has been estimated that most participants will spend on average $50 per day, which equates to significant financial benefit for local businesses and the wider Wattle Range community.

“The first of the riders will be starting to arrive in our Council area around 8:30am. They will initially head to Beachport for a lunch stop around the rotunda on the foreshore. Event organisers will have portable toilets, bins and marquees set up, with the seaside community welcoming the riders into their town.

“The second rest stop will be at the Rendelsham carpark starting from 9:30 am until 3 pm. Again organisers will be providing toilets, marquees & bins. At this stop community groups have been organised to provide food, drinks, music & games.

“The riders will start arriving in Millicent from 11 am, and the McLaughlin Park campsite opens at 12 noon. Council staff will be working in our marquee at the campsite to encourage riders to explore Millicent and showcase the activities occurring. Riders will be looking for food, drinks and things to do in the afternoon. To assist with providing the best experience to riders in Millicent, Council is hosting a Market & Art Fair with around 30 stalls from 2:30 to 6:30 pm at Jubilee Park. This will be held in conjunction with Millicent Lights-Up event which kicks off at 5 pm.

“The Market & Art Fair is designed to encourage the visitors to stay and spend time in Millicent rather than return to the campsite. As part of this, we welcome the local community to embrace these activities, which will include a 4.8m colouring-in wall paper on the RSL Hall; a giant word search and scattered seating for people to sit back and enjoy the ambience of the fair. More will be revealed closer to the day,” Mr Babolka added.

Other activities planned for the day include:

  • Millicent Basketball Association will be hosting two feature matches of men’s and women’s basketball between Horsham v Millicent. Entry is FREE if you book prior for a counter meal, or you can pay $5 at the door. In addition, a laser-tag event will also be held at the Stadium at $15 per person for a one-hour session;
  • Shearers Cook café will be hosting a gin bar and smoking grill BBQ;
  • Residents and visitors will be able to enjoy free use of Council’s Inflatable Obstacle Course at the Millicent Swimming Lake to celebrate the Great Victorian Bike Ride’s arrival in Millicent;
  • In an initiative co-ordinated by the Imagine Millicent Arts Group, colourfully painted bikes will be placed around town;
  • 5THE FM will have an open day for people to explore the radio station. Coffee and slices will be available for purchase;
  • The Millicent Museum and Visitor Information Centre will be open until 6pm; and
  • The Millicent Art Gallery will also be open for extended hours featuring local and interstate artists for the 2019 Wattle Range Art Exhibition.

Mr Babolka also explained another initiative of Council: “To encourage spending and exploring within our region Council has established a unique raffle to entice these visitors to return. It should be noted that historically over 70 percent of all participants return to the areas that they’ve ridden through within a year. Raffle prizes include dinner at Mayurra Station, 2 nights’ family accommodation at the Southern Ocean Tourist Park in Beachport and a basket of local produce. Great Vic Bike Ride participants, volunteers and supporters will be offered entry when spending money in our towns on the day.”

On Sunday the riders will make their way to Tantanoola to have morning tea provided by the local Football Club starting from 6am until 11am on the corner of Tantanoola & Whites Road.

“This is an important opportunity to showcase what we have to offer and Council encourages the community to support this event and offer a warm and hospitable welcome” Mr Babolka concluded.





For further information please contact:

Roger Babolka, Manager Economic Development
Email:                       council@wattlerange.sa.gov.au
Telephone:                (08) 8733 0900


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