THE countdown is on, with only four weeks until Cooktown’s popular Discovery Festival.
Organisers are saying this year’s event will have an injection of fun new, community-driven events and some big prizemoney for competitors.
The annual festival, organised by Cook Shire Council and held from Friday, June 16 to Sunday, June 18, will this year include a colour run that raises funds for the Cooktown Amateur Swimming Club.
The club has held the event previously, but it will be the first time a colour run has been part of the Discovery Festival program.
There is a small fee for entry, with food and drinks on sale, as well as white shirts ready to get coated in sprays of multicoloured powder dye.
“This year’s event is shaping up to have something on offer for everyone including the fun run, bush dance, movie night, live entertainment, rides, fireworks, spaghetti eating competition, guided tours and the ever-popular re-enactment of the landing of Captain Cook,” said Cook Shire Council tourism, arts and events manager Sally Eales.
“It’s really great to see community groups getting involved in the event this year and the Cooktown Discovery Festival is proud to be able to provide fundraising opportunities for our local community.”
Former festival favourites the fun run and tug of war will also return, with some new twists, and both run as fundraisers by local community groups.
The fun run is sure to attract a crowd of competitive athletes, with more than $10,000 in prizes across a range of categories.
Organised by Cooktown Little Athletics, the big money will go to the first person across the finish line for the 4km Diabetes on Track Goliath of Grassy Hill run, with $1000 to the winner of the open category and more than $4000 in prizes across the junior and master categories.
For less ambitious runners, there is a 1km Lure Shop Kids Dash and the 2km Cooktown RLS Fun Run, with prizes for the best dressed. There is also more than $400 in lucky door prizes for runners who miss out on a place.
Cooktown Crocs Junior Rugby League is bringing back the tug of war, but going back to the old-school version on the grass, rather than the metered style seen at more recent festivals.
Teams of six men, six women or a mixed team of half men and women can battle it out to pull their opponents across the line in what is always a spectator favourite.
The Big Run for Little Athletics is on Saturday, June 17, with the first race at 7am. The Cooktown Crocs Tug of War is also on Saturday, at 1.30pm in Lions Park. The Community Colour Run is on Sunday June 18 from 11.30am in William Daku Park on the waterfront.
Visit www.cooktowndiscovery.com.au for more information and to register or book tickets for ticketed events.