THE CHEF'S TABLE: Ben O'Donoghue will be delighting the taste buds at Big Skies.
THE CHEF'S TABLE: Ben O'Donoghue will be delighting the taste buds at Big Skies. Contributed

Join the action at Big Skies

WE'RE now in the home stretch as the Big Skies festival is just days away, starting with the Dalby Picnic Races.

One of the frontrunners of the region's social calendar, the Dalby Picnic Races is now all set for its 107th year of high fashion and higher stakes.

About 8000 punters will be keen to try their luck at the races or parade their designer clothing, with gates opening at noon on Saturday, April 27.

To cater for the crowd there are several large marquees ranging from private gatherings for guests wanting that something special to the popular O'Shea's Windsor Watering hole.

Speaking of something special, tickets are still available for The Chef's Table on Friday, May 3.

Spoil yourself by partaking in an exceptional five-course gourmet lunch prepared by one of the original celebrity chefs in Australia, Ben O'Donoghue.

Ben is highly regarded among food connoisseurs, being the owner of three highly successful restaurants, author of four books and making multiple appearances in prime-time shows across the UK and Australia throughout his 20-year career.

Tickets for The Chef's Table close this Friday, April26.

If an outdoor picnic is more your style, why not pop out to Sunnyview in Miles for a tasty picnic lunch washed down with a glass of champagne, then be treated to a rare tour of mosaic artist Kylie Bourne's studio, which is in the midst of preparations for her next solo exhibition later this year.

For those who are interested in what makes our region a leader in renewable energy, mining or agricultural performance, there is still time to book into one of our regional tours on May 2-3.

The Agricultural Leaders tour will give you a deeper appreciation of the work that goes into prosperous agricultural businesses including feedlots and cotton farms, while the Sustainable Energy Exploration tour covers the biorefinery and Coopers Gap Wind Farm.

Even our libraries have jumped on board the Big Skies festival, hosting photobook workshops to turn your fabulous travel photos into long-lasting treasures or helping you delve into the fascinating process of discovering your ancestry.

Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh is pleased at how the Big Skies festival has grown in only one year.

"Not only do we have these large-scale events over the nine days, our communities have brought forward many suggestions for activities that are now value-adding to the festival in a delightful way,” he said.

"There truly is something for everyone from golf days to outdoor feasts, outdoor movies, craft and machinery displays, art and craft activities, exhibitions and tours in almost every town in our region.”

More information on everything Big Skies is available at www.big

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