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New event . . . Tussock Country Music Festival chair Jeff Rea (left) and GWD Motor Group chief executive Glen Ruther ford are pleased to announce the inaugural Hokonui Ute Muster will take place in May as part of the music festival. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Ute owners will have a chance to show off their pride and joy during the first ever Hokonui Ute Muster in Gore in May.

The event is part of the inaugural nine-day long Tussock Country Music Festival.

Music festival chairman Jeff Rea said the event was styled on the ute muster tradition in rural Australia and the United States.

“Traditionally pick-up trucks and country music go together,” Mr Rea said.

“It’s a great chance to show off your ute and your dog, and enjoy good times with your mates.”

Socialising was an important part of the event, he said.

“This is a great opportunity for country lads and gals to get together and celebrate some of the good stuff about rural living trucks, dogs and sharing good times.”

The event would start with a parade through Gore.

There were many prizes to be won in 12 different categories including best turned out double cab, best dog in a ute, best classic ute, best trade ute and best mullet.

The event will be sponsored by GWD Motor Group. The group’s chief executive, Glen Rutherford, said utes were a popular vehicle in the strongly rural region.

“You could almost say every second man or woman and his dog’s got a ute of some description,” Mr Rutherford said.

“Everyone has either grown up with utes or has got a ute.”

The parade will start at 1pm on May 23 before all the utes joined the muster at the Gore A & P Showgrounds.

The public would be welcome to come and view the utes between 2pm and 4pm and category winners would be announced later in the afternoon.