24/07/97 - Wonderland hosts feast of country music

Date: 24/07/1997
Publication: Illawarra Mercury
Page: 16

Australia's Wonderland will host its annual Countryfest '97 in August and September, featuring some of the biggest and best in country music talent.

Two major concerts starring Australia's most talented and internationally acclaimed country musicians will be held on Sunday, August 3 and Sunday, September 21.

Kicking off Countryfest '97 on August 3 will be Lee Kernaghan and 1996 Starmaker winner Darren Coggan, female vocalist of the year Tania Kernaghan, New Talent Awards finalist Wayne Law, and best new talent award winner Tina Martin.

Keith Urban will join multi-award winner Troy Cassar-Daley in the closing concert on September 21, along with ARIA best country band of the year Dead Ringer Band, Clint Beattie and hot new country music star Felicity.

For the first time, Australia's Wonderland has added a new feature to Countryfest '97. Every Sunday from August 10, Australia's newest country music performers have been invited to showcase their talents and compete for great prizes. Throughout Countryfest '97, Australia's Wonderland will provide an Aussie country atmosphere for visitors.

Fans will be treated to a glimpse of Australia's outback past with blacksmiths, artisans and craftsmen, gold panning and woodchopping.

There will be Australian wine tasting and food sampling, dog shows, wandering singers and pony rides. And Ironbark Jim will exhibit his whip-cracking and bushman skills.

The Illawarra Mercury has 10 family passes to give away to Countryfest '97. Each is valid for two adults and two children until September 29. To be in the running to win the passes, complete the coupon which appears for the first time on page 12 of the Applause liftout today and which will appear daily until August 8.

Post as many entry coupons as you like to Countryfest '97 Competition, PO Box 1756, Wollongong 2500, or drop them in the barrel at the Mercury office, 282 Keira St, Wollongong. Entries close 5pm Monday, August 11, and winners' names will be published on Wednesday, August 13. Australia's Wonderland, just a short drive from Wollongong, is now open every day of the year.