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Alice Springs is increasingly becoming known as a centre for mountain biking. The Ingerreke Commercial MTB Enduro is a 5 day race every May, attracting 200 competitors, of all abilities. It is a great event, with one leg taking place at night. Many locals go along and watch all of the competitors as they ride through the hills around town. It is a great spectacle.
Outside of that event, the Central Australian Rough Riders (they have a website) have constructed some wonderful single track, particularly north of the Scout Hall on Larapinta Drive. These single tracks cater for all levels of rider. Surfaces here are loose, and it is recommended that you ride with a spare tube. Of course, carry water and a mobile phone! These tracks are generally not signposted. Getting lost is easy enough on some of these tracks, even for locals. But don't be fearful, as you can generally see the West MacDonnell Ranges, and these will always guide you home.
One of the great things about mountain biking in Alice Springs, is that minutes after leaving the black-top, you feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by some stunning country and wildlife.
One of the great events in the Alice Springs calendar is the Beanie Festival. Held in June at the Alice Springs Cultural Precinct, this community based event that started in 1997, brings together Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people. The event is ostensibly about beanies, that indispensable piece of clothing for every local for every winter. Deeper though and throughout the festival, are stories of country and landscape and culture.
One of the biggest art exhibitions is Desert Mob, with the associated market place. The market place is fabulous. Lots of people, and lots of wonderful art at ridiculously cheap art. Desert Mob is the cream of central desert Aboriginal art. The market place is art that can be nearly as good, and often bought for tens of dollars not hundreds or thousands. Both events are at the Alice Springs Cultural Precinct. These events take place once a year.
A much newer market is DesArt at the Desert Park. This event is run by Desart, the association which represents all of the art centres, owned and managed by Aboriginal people in their own communities. DesArt at the Desert Park usually has about 15 art centres selling art. Much of the art is at ridiculously low prices, and is of a great quality. Significantly, you know that this art is being purchased ethically, that the money is going straight to the community. These markets are twice a year, generally just before Easter, and then again when Desart is having a big meeting to which all centres attend.
One of the largest events on the calendar is the Alice Desert Festival. This festival will be held from the 11 - 15 September, 2013, and includes music and food and theatre and art and oh so many events. People from remote communities will drive hundreds of kilometres to be involved. Keep an eye out for some fantastic events this year such as The Woohoo Revue and Randy the Puppet, as well as local favourites Seek and the Cats Meow Cabaret Nine Live Cabaret Club.
Held on the 2nd Saturday in July at Blatherskite Park, Alice Springs. Camel Cup