Kilmore is known for its country events and is steeped in horse racing history with many training and breeding facilities in the area. The word ‘Kilmore’ is Gaelic for ‘Big Church’ and was given to the township by the settler, William Rutledge after his Irish birthplace. The first Inn opened in Kilmore in 1841 and boomed in the 1850’s with gold discoveries in Beechworth and Chiltern. The town population was recorded at being 1426 in 1854 when a daily coach service opened to Melbourne and today, Kilmore is home to 3500 residents and is a beautiful snapshot of Victorias rich country heritage.
Kilmore’s rich horseracing heritage is hard to ignore and the township hosts some major horseracing events. These include The Kilmore Cup and the richest provincial harness race, The Kilmore Pacing Cup and Harness racing Carnival. All racing is held at the Kilmore track which is a wonderful facility close to the main street.
Other events in Kilmore include The Kilmore Celtic Festival, held annually, and is a tribute to the early settlers of the region and is a celebration of their influence on the area in a presentation of Celtic tradition. Friday night is always a free event of dance whilst Saturday is the main event day with non-stop performances in three adjoining heated venues from 10am until 6pm followed by a concert in the evening from 7.30pm until 11.30pm. Sunday begins with a Celtic Mass followed by a Celtic Banquet with live Celtic music from 12noon until 4pm.
There are many things to see and do in Kilmore so please don’t hesitate to contact the Kilmore Tourist Information Centre, located in the town library at 12 Sydney St. Phone, (03) 5781 1319. Or just ask one of our friendly staff at Kilmore Motel for advice.