Two Americans walk into a Casino bar…

ABOVE: Spot the Americans: Candy Ballinger and Tracey Hammel watch the Beef Week Parade from the balcony of the Commercial Hotel. Photos: Susanna Freymark

It was Candy Ballinger’s first time in Australia. Her friend Tracey Hammel had been to Casino before to visit friends.

It was the first time either of them had been to Beef Week in Casino. caught up with the Americans at the Casino RSM Club. They had just seen Mr Beef and their ears were ringing from all the screaming.

Their homes in the state of Indiana are a long way away from the Beef Town.

“What I love is the extreme sense of community,” Candy said.

“Everyone coming out and laughing.”

Candy said she lives in the city Indianapolis and the Beef Week celebrations were “remarkable”.

Tracey was missing the Indy 500 (a major car race in Indianapolis) while she was in Australia.

Candy and Tracey are educators and visited St Marys School.

They enjoyed seeing the children dressed up at Breakfast with the Butchers and then going off to school in their costumes.

Tracey visited Casino 29 years ago and spent her time on a farm.

She said Beef Week was such a family event and she liked seeing the “little kids in cowboy outfits”.

Most of all, Candy liked how the town “honoured cows”.

“We watched your community show who they are,” Candy said.

“People are so genuine.”

Read all the Beef Week stories here.

Tracey Hammel and Candy Ballinger at the Casino RSM.

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