Crispy white, frost-bitten lawns sparkled in the perfect backdrop for a swarm of colour and noise, which roared to life when the Variety Bash rolled into Gilgai Public School.
Monday's -2 degree morning did nothing to cool the enthusiasm of both Bashers and students, who gathered eagerly hoping to catch a glimpse or more of their favourite movie character or book hero.
Principal Lachlan Stewart said the kids' excitement was palpable, with everyone looking forward to seeing the wide array of cars and costumes.
With Covid-19 cancelling last year's bash, it was the culmination of two years worth of build-up and preparation.
"It's just wonderful," he said.
"The people are lovely - when we told them what kinds of cars were coming, the kids were so excited."
They received their $5000 donation from the bash last year, to go towards education supplies, and they've been using their iPads since then.
"We're hoping to raise more money from the food and things we're selling here this morning, hopefully another two grand out of this," he said, thanking the PNC for all their efforts.
"We're very fortunate they've chosen us, and are very privileged to have these guys look after us the way they do."
Variety Basher and 'top sheet' Paul Graham said Inverell was going on the "happy town" list.
"As we travel through towns, you can tell which are the happy ones and which are the grumpy ones," he said.
"Inverell is a happy one - because we drove through and everyone was waving and smiling. Definitely going on the 'good' list for when we caravan through again."
Mr Stewart said thank you to all the volunteers who "came out of the woodwork" and helped put the morning together.
"There are so many who've volunteered time, gear or services ... we are a lucky little school."
More than 100 cars have taken to the red-dust roads of outback NSW to visit regional schools in a week-long adventure.
More than $60,000 worth of grants will be given to 12 schools in remote NSW communities during the event.
Variety Acting General Manager, David Small, said after Covid-19 forced the cancellation of the 2020 NSW Bash for the first time in the event's history, everyone is eager to get behind the wheel to support kids in need.
The bash left Newcastle on Sunday and will visit other towns including Quirindi, Inverell, Boggabilla, Moree, Pallamallawa, Rowena, Lightning Ridge, Gwabegar, Gunnedah, Tingha, Armidale, Kelly's Plains and Belltrees.
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