This year's flagship carnival for Inverell Football Club was one to remember, with the sporting spirit displayed in full strength on Sunday after a forced hiatus last year.
COVID-19 dashed the hopes of 2020's carnival, but club secretary Laura Simpson said the Inverell Carnival was even double the size of 2019's event.
"It was a massive day," she enthused.
"I think after having the year off, people are keen to get back into some form of normality, keen to get out and play sport and participate in carnivals like this, and the kids were certainly keen."
About 450 kids were spread out across the fields, with their teams coming from Gunnedah, Moree, Tamworth, Tenterfield, Glen Innes and right across the North West to compete - or just play a friendly non-competitive game for the littlies.
"They are always quite competitive, a lot of teams work hard. NIAS and the North West teams were there, and they are all high performing teams that train hard and participate in other carnivals," she added.
"We have a lot of kids in our club that play hard and train - they're a talented bunch of kids."
With the size and success of this carnival, Simpson said there could be hopes of expanding the reach in the future.
"We try hard, hopefully we can do a repeat next year, and it would be nice to look a bit further and have coastal towns join us, those towns a little bit further afield," she said.
"We are very thankful for the volunteers - and the organisation of the event is purely run on volunteers.
"It was a massive effort, and with 450 kids playing yesterday, it's amazing to think it was all run by people who give their time.
"And also thanks to the towns that make the effort to turn up too."
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