WORKING dogs herded sheep along the main streets of Howard to the delight of thousands who lined the parade route during the weekend Coalfest.

Faye Whiffin, one of the organisers of the Burrum District Coal Discovery Festival, said everyone fell in love with the dogs.

She said it was estimated about 4000 people enjoyed the festivities on Saturday which included historic displays, market stalls, history tours and shopkeepers dressed in period costumes.

Early showers cleared and the sun was bright by the time the parade began with a bang at 10am as Mary Heritage and the Town Crier fired the time canon.

Ms Whiffin said the festival was so successful she hoped it would be held annually or once every two years.

"It brings awareness of the area and boosts the economy," she said.

Ms Whiffin said it was gratifying to see how the community got involved in the event including schoolchildren who walked in the procession dressed in old-fashioned clothing and carrying cardboard picks.

Parade crowds were also entertained by rural fire trucks playing tunes with their sirens and a float decorated to mark the 150th anniversary of the discovery of coal on the banks of the Burrum River.



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