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Pre-match ceremony

Simon Conway  May 13, 2017 9:27 AM

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Australian country music singer Sara Storer will perform the nation's 'unofficial' anthem 'Waltzing Matilda' as part of a stirring pre-match ceremony ahead of tonight's match between Essendon and Geelong.

Born in Victoria's Mallee district, Storer has won 18 Golden Guitars since releasing her first album in 2000.

Players from both sides will line the centre square in the moments before the first bounce as Storer sings the Australian classic.

The ceremony is part of the Country Festival that celebrates the significant contribution those living outside the capital cities make to our nation.

From 2pm today Yarra Park will be transformed into a celebration of the country with a deni ute muster on-site, farm animals, camel rides, wood chopping and sheep shearing as well as the opportunity to sample a taste of the country in the heart of the city with food trucks and a massive farmers market showcasing the best regional produce Victoria has to offer.

Award winning country music stars Lee Kernaghan, Shannon Noll, Mustered Courage and Storer will perform throughout the festival.

On the field, the top-ranked Victorian country football leagues will do battle, ahead of Essendon’s clash with Geelong.

In a match showcasing some of the best country football talent, the number one ranked Geelong Football Netball League will take on the second placed Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football Netball League.

Later, CFA volunteers will be recognised with a lap of honour on the MCG.