October 1963 – Inaugural Man from Snowy River Bush Festival

October 1995 – Commemoration of Australia’s Man from Snowy River Centennial Celebrations – the 100th Birthday Party for Australia’s favourite poem – Banjo Paterson’s “Man from Snowy River” 1895-1995.

10-day celebration invited visitors to “come back 100 years to when the book was published” for “The Bush Party of the Century”. It featured the inaugural Man from Snowy River (MFSR) Challenge, as well as events such as Light Horse Skills, Concerts, Poetry and MFSR Re-enactment. “The word had passed around” and visitors flooded to Corryong for the Celebrations.

1997 – Festival changed from October to April. The Festival incorporated hero events from a second community run event, the High Country Festival, into the MFSR Program. An Autumn Festival addressed an identified void in tourism events in North-East Victoria at that time and provided greater access to volunteer labour.

The Festival has blossomed and continues to draw visitors annually to Corryong for the event.

Flagship events include a 9-event MFSR Stockman’s Challenge, a live MFSR Re-enactment (of the Poem), MFSR Rodeo and 5-day Riley’s Ride (a dying Jack Riley’s last ride from Tom Groggin Station to Corryong).

These flagship events are supported by a further 28 events, using 23 different venues, adding to its rich and diverse Program. The MFSR Challenge and other multi-faceted events created in 1995 have become the cornerstones of the Festival as we know it today and keeps our Australian bush heritage and folklore alive.

The Festival is proud to be so closely associated with the Man from Snowy River, a legend that Australia recognises as one of its unique selling points which is why organisers of Australia’s Sydney Olympics featured it in its opening ceremony.

The Festival provides an opportunity to revisit this legend at the well of our national spirit and be a striking reminder of the great traditions and exploits of the Australian bush. The program of activities aims to foster a revival in our cultural heritage.

By paying tribute to our local legend as depicted in Paterson’s great ballad, we remind fellow Australians of our great culture and help preserve and promote legacies, such as the Man from Snowy River, so they are not obliterated by time.

The Festival has only been cancelled twice in its illustrious history. In 2008 due to Equine Influenza and in 2020 due to Covid19. In 2020 the Festival was due to celebrate its 25th Anniversary. To demonstrate their continued support of the event, many contributors rolled-over their involvement to the 2021 Festival. After five (5) months of dedicated effort the 2021 Man from Snowy River Bush Festival successfully gained Level 3 CovidSafe Event status (5,000+) – one of the very few Victorian Festivals to actually operate.

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