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  • Writer's pictureJack Ward

Bash’s 30th postponed

Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.

ARGUABLY Ararat’s largest and longest running street party, the ‘Burke Road Bash’ has celebrated its 30th year COVID style.

PHOTO: (L-R) Maria Fratin, Merilyn Cleary, Casanda and Nevani Woods, Nadine Brady, Annthea Price, Gaye Peoples and Vicki Parsons at the 20th Anniversary.

The annual congregation of Burke Road and ‘Off Burke Road’ (Munro Court) residents has been the centrepiece of the neighbourhood since 1991, when then residents Jill Roberts and Merilyn Cleary decided on an end of year function.

A long list of families from the Ararat and District have attended since, to let down their hair and celebrate the road’s community.

Resident and organiser, Casanda Woods, has lived in Burke Road for 42 years and said the tradition is too big to stop now.

“My parents built their house [on Burke Road] in 1977. The ‘Burke Road Bash’ just brings people together. People just let things lapse because they get busy, you've just got to prioritise what's important,” she said.

“I just think if someone doesn't keep it going, it'll stop and how can you stop after so many years?”

The ‘Burke Road Bash’ gives residents a reason to further the occasional wave to neighbours, and instead turn it into a meaningful conversation over drinks, food and fun.

It now includes highly contended prizes, a visit from Santa Claus and annual merchandise, all organised by Mrs Woods and fellow committee members, Nadine Brady and Loretta Molloy.

“We started with each family bringing a family, and that's how we built our numbers but then we had to stop that because we were getting ridiculous numbers, like 100 people,” she said.

“We cut it back just to the street and then the awards were introduced. The Nature Strip Award was the initial one and then the Garbage Bin Award which allowed people to be a bit more creative.

“Then my dad, Bill Rogerson, instigated the Bulldozer Award when the road was unsealed. The person who drove up and down the most was the one who created those corrugations.”

PHOTO: Casanda Woods organised merchandise to celebrate the 30th and deliver to residents. (Jack Ward/Ararat Advocate)

Mrs Woods said the awards have continued each year, even in 2020. Despite the annual gathering’s cancellation, a sign was erected at the top of the road and residents were quick to get to work.

“We put some signs up and people just know the drill, so they participated. And then we just put another sign up this week with the winners and I've dropped off the awards,” she said.

She is hopeful the road will be able to physically celebrate the 30th year twelve months later than scheduled.

“The 30th was going to be a big one where we actually invite every resident that has ever lived in Burke Road since 1991… we could have had 100-200 people turn up,” she said.

“We'll try again next year, maybe celebrate the 30th just the same but it'll be the 31st.”

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