The 135th Woolworths Stawell Gift takes place across the Easter weekend in the regional Victorian town of Stawell.
The Stawell Athletic Club presents an action-packed carnival over the Easter weekend culminating in the Stawell Gift, Australia's oldest and richest short distance running race.
Stawell Gift Race
Since 1878 the race is run on grass over 120 metres up a slight gradient. Competitors are handicapped according to their form.
The Stawell Gift Calcutta
The Calcutta and Call of the Card has been a feature of the Stawell Gift since the 1940's. The draw is released, raffle tickets bought and the action begins when the auctioneer calls for bids for each heat. Held at the Stawell Town Hall, the Calcutta is a true punter's night.
This is ‘festival’ day at Central Park with entertainment for the whole family. Activities include a fashion parade, Fashions on the Field for the best dressed lady, a betting ring, champagne bar and live music.
Plenty of action for all the family including a visit from Easter Bunny, an animal nursery for the little ones and some fast paced fitness fun for the older kids. There are also Little Athletics races and kids coaching clinics scheduled into Sunday’s program.
Gift Finals Day
The carnival culminates with the final of the Stawell Gift. The race is televised live on Channel Seven from midday with the broadcast capturing the history and tradition of the event, showcasing regional Victoria and the colour and excitement of the Stawell Gift Carnival.
The first Stawell Gift was in 1878, as a fun race between miners at the end of the gold rush. It has been raced every year since, except for four years during the Second World War.
Originally it was the townspeople putting together an entertainment package to happen over Easter, complete with 'special trains' to the event. Today it is the most prestigious footrace in Australia, with a $40,000AUD first prize.
Date | Time
Stawell Gift 2016Central ParkStawellVictoria3380Australia | Map