We know how much a mullet means to a dinky-di Aussie.
On a stretch of dusty grass, mowed down for a parking lot, out the back of a small town in the Hunter region on Saturday, Kody Beattie's mum was putting the finishing touches on her son's hair before his event.
They had travelled from Sydney that morning where they were staying with family on a stopover from the drive from Cootamundra, where they now live, in the South West Slopes of rural NSW.
The destination was Kurri Kurri - the official home of Mulletfest.
Close clipped sides cascade into a straight mane that tumbles past Kody's shoulders and eclipses the rule on the back of the official Mulletfest t-shirts that scales out lengths of note including 'Neck Warmer' at the top above 'Trailer Trash', and 'Sexilicious' which falls around the middle of the back just below 'Joe Dirt'.
When his hair outgrew the scale, Kody took a post-it note and pinned it to the bottom of his shirt where his feathery ends linger around the hem. It reads "You're from the country".
Kody has worn his mullet for about four years, and vowed to his mum that he wouldn't have it cut until he had won Mulletfest.
He made first place in his age-group category in a heat event held earlier in the year as Mulletfest toured the country in search of Australia's best, but said at the weekend he wouldn't be happy until he had taken out the grand final.
He cut in his style after finding a trove of photos from his dad's 18th birthday party.
"He had his mullet in them," he said. "I just thought: sick."
Asked, if he was to win his event, whether he would consider taking off his mullet, he answered quickly, "Oh, I'd trim it down a bit. But I won't cut it completely off - I'm keeping it to the end."
The Hebburn Motorsport Park, on the site of the former Hebburn No. Colliery, drew the faithful from across the country and the wider world Saturday to celebrate the iconic Australian haircut, and among them the sentiment was all the same - mullet or nothing.
Bavo Van Broeck - a Belgian chef who spends his off-time prospecting for opals in remote parts of the state - had camped out on the grounds ahead of the weekend, woken in the morning by the roar of a blown dag car firing on all cylinders.
He had won the rookie mullet category in his heat in February, and had made the trek back to mullet's spiritual home at Kurri to try to take out the top prize in his category.
It's like a big family here, man ... Everyone's nice to each other. You feel part of something.- Bavo Van Broeck
"The Belgian news picked it up," he said, beaming in an 80s-inspired purple and turquoise rave track suit, "I was famous in Belgium for a little bit. That was pretty lovely.
Bavo is in his 30s, and says he has a 26-year plan to win what he calls the Grand Slam of Mullets - taking out the top prize in every adult age category.
"It's like a big family here, man ... everyone's nice to each other. You feel part of something, you know?"
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