It began in 1970 as a bet in a pub between two Alice Springs Lions Club mates, Noel Fullerton and Keith Mooney-Smith, and has grown into a full-scale carnival. The event is loads of fun with all proceeds going to the Lions Club and a long list of worthwhile local causes. There is no prize money, just trophies, and all riders give their time free of charge.
The real stars of the day are the camels. They are temperamental, selfish, unpredictable, can spit over three metres, can bite and snarl but are generally very entertaining.
Since 1979 the Camel Cup has been held on its own arena at Blatherskite Park, a section of the Central Australian Show Society grounds, with a commentary and judges' tower providing telephone contact to the pits and centre arena to keep the crowd informed.
The day begins at 11.30am with an opening ceremony and grand parade and races are run about every hour until the trophy presentation. There is a lot of action between races �" belly dancers, rickshaw rallies, food stalls and bars.
Punters vote for the prettiest camel and the person whose name is drawn wins a camel ride along the dry Todd River and is treated to dinner at a camel farm. Children can enter by age group and winners get to take the whole family to dinner.
To become Mr Camel Cup, men need to be able to do such silly things as walking like a camel. Miss Camel Cup is decided on her camel knowledge and answers to some silly questions.