The volunteering game
Bulli Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
Our cat was still enjoying a peaceful holiday with my parents since before Christmas so it was only the dog who had to go to kennels. That accomplished we continued northwards to Bulli. Last year the Illawarra Festival had moved from it's original home at beautiful Jamberoo which nestles under an escarpment in rich dairy country to Bulli.
We arrived at about 10.30am, parked the car and camper-trailer in the car park and immediately found set-up jobs. Andrew had volunteered for this while my real roster in ticket sales was to start on Thursday evening. I tagged along with some blokes who were erecting a marquee to house the ticket office, performer registrations and volunteer registrations. This was quite an involved process as none of us knew what the final shape was and there were colour coded poles but no instructions.
The volunteer kitchen was up and running and we were well supplied with morning tea and lunch. Sunscreen and a hat were vital and the work was hot. We got advice as to where to camp and selected a leafy spot up near the Grevillea Park as we didn't need power. Set the trailer up and covered the ancient canvas with a tarpaulin for extra shade and weather proofing. Found that our attempts to locate a gas leak in the fittings of our camping gas bottle had been spectacularly unsuccessful, forcing us to purchase Chinese takeaways on the first night.
During the 3 days of set up our jobs included transportation of chairs to the marquee which had been set up in the centre of the greyhound and trotting track. There were signs to be pasted onto boards and covered in plastic in order to give them a couple of years life. The main marquee frame had been erected only to allow the Wednesday afternoon greyhound race to take place without obliterating the views of the patrons. This race meet was very interesting as we had never been to one before. The seven dogs in the first race were led out by their trainers and paraded down to the starting box.
On Wednesday night at the Heritage Hotel (one of the venues which is sited outside of the greyhound track) a bush dance kicked off the festival led by the Wongawilli Bush Band which has been in operation for 20 years now! All dances were called and that was a great night. Thursday lunchtime the restaurant at the track was taken over by the festival people and an Italian lunch with entertainment was held with a three course meal for only $6. On Thursday evening there was a fully catered Tripe and Haggis night to celebrate Robbie Burns' birthday with plenty of musical acts to entertain. There was even a stew (called sludge) for those who didn't quite think they could come at the mainliners on the menu!