The Albany Shantymen are returning to run their second Tug of War, offering rival groups a chance to face off against each other as part of this year’s Albany Folk and Shanty Festival. Challenges are being issued to rival groups around the Great Southern to participate, with the Albany Shantymen themselves set to go up against Bunbury group The Castaways. The Tug of War is a charity event to raise money for Telethon. With groups from WA Police, Elders, Albany Hospital Doctors and Albany Roller League Derby soon to issue their challenges, this year is set to be an all-out war. The outfits won’t disappoint this year, with the battle between the Shantymen and Castaways to be a colourful one, according to Gary Greenwald. “This year they’ve been challenged, and they’ve nominated us to wear fancy dress — Ned Kelly outfits,” he said. “So we’ve got to get to Bunnings and buy some buckets.” Putting the Castaways’ outfit down to a Facebook poll, it was with an overwhelming number of votes for the Bunbury group to dress as ballerinas. “So it’ll be Ned Kelly versus ballerinas,” Mr Greenwald said. “I don’t know how they’ll choose to interpret it, obviously last year they gave us the theme of 18th-century barmaids, and we said they should come dressed based on the film Anchorman.” The 2022 Tug of War saw $1500 raised, a figure the Shantymen are hoping to beat. “It’s all for the Telethon kids, so it’s for a good cause,” Mr Greenwald said. “Hopefully it’s a partnership with Telethon Kids, and hopefully people start to see it as part of the festival. “We’re a growing tradition.” Slots are still open for those who want to challenge their rival groups at the festival. To register, email the Albany Shantymen at Albany.Shantymen@gmail.com.