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Picnic Day is a public holiday in the Northern Territory and it is observed at Adelaide River. Although it is celebrated by many as a long weekend when they plan trips or stay put at homes and relax. Adelaide River is a small town situated about 115 KMs south of Capital of Northern Territory- Darwin. The event holds many exciting pursuits like tug-of-war, three-legged races, egg and spoon races and much more. Harts Range annual races coincide with the Picnic Day and give a great reason to visit this horse race held at Hart Range. Ute Competitions, Bull Rides, Lizard races, Whip Cracking to name a few are the major attractions of the race.

Picnic Day 2017

History of the Picnic Day dates back to the late 1800s. Northern Territory witnessed Picnic Day events at various locations like Adelaide River, Brunette Downs Station and Glencoe Paddock. Although a trend picked up in the early 20th century and since then it has been celebrated at Adelaide River on the first Monday of August each year. There are various stories about the origin of the Picnic Day at Adelaide River. One says Picnic Day was declared a public holiday so that the railway employees working on the North Australian Railway could go to Adelaide River to enjoy a picnic. Although the date of the first Picnic Day is unknown and also there was a gap of 11 years somewhere after 1920’s. An effort was made in 1933 to restore it, but it was not as early as 1936 that Picnic Day was officially granted as a public holiday in Northern Territory. While other talks about a race that took place in November of 1947 with 3 brothers- Benett, Qinton and Kil on one side and stockman Jack Schaber and a Senior Constable Bob Darken on the other. Covering a distance of about a mile, the race was to determine who of them had the fastest horse. The race came to be known as Harts Range Annual races. Looking at the enthusiasm the race gathered, a holiday application was made to the Administration of the Northern Territory to declare it as a Central Australian holiday to coincide with the Harts Race. And this came to be known as the Picnic Day.

Picnic Day is a public holiday, schools and post services are closed. What could be a better chance of camping and caravanning than on the Picnic Day?

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