The Royal Easter Show is the largest event held in Australia. It is where the country meets the city. I have been around shows throughout my childhood and have a deep understanding of what the aim is. However, this view is historical and the need to come into the present century has lost some of that concept. In previous years it was an opportunity for the country to showcase their livestock or produce. The show was founded in 1822 and has since that time had an influence over the agricultural industry particularly in relation to competitions, education and events.
My family used to show Poll Hereford cattle, Merino sheep and enter superfine wool into the Royal Show. At the various local shows in our region my grandmother would also submit knitting, spinning and weaving. What does all that mean? Well my great uncle won the superfine merino fleece at the show. When he takes his rams to the market this helps as a sales pitch. My father used to coordinate the cattle section of the local show. He was then well known in the industry and particularly with his breed. People would then support his bull sale each year as they knew both him and his cattle. Both my grandfather and my father have been the president at the show. My grandfather being president of both Tamworth and Gunnedah. My dad, Gunnedah. I have been the Gunnedah Show girl. My cousin was the Royal Easter Show girl. No it’s not a pageant – it’s an ambassador role of your local area and the show society.
Now that has been explained. The Easter show today is not only a showcase of livestock and produce but also industry. In recent years. The Primary Industry Education Foundation conducted a survey of children across different ages. The results were confirmation of a disconnect between paddock and plate. Kids in general do not know where things are grown. Some answers said you get produce from Woolworths. That is the one reason why everyone should visit the show. To give their children an understanding of where produce comes from. Woolworth, in partnership with the Royal Show Society have worked very diligently over the last number of years to increase an education hall at the show that is both an educational and interactive experience for children as they learn about various areas of the agricultural business.
The produce hall is always a highlight. I have actually volunteered in this hall prior to the show. There are thousands of apples to polish. There are pumpkins to lift into place and seeds to glue. The conceptual design work is of a high standard and each area of New South Wales fight strongly for the win. Thousands of man hours and produce goes into each stand. The planning is inspiring and conceptually each year the displays are bigger and better, never repetitious and always enjoyable to stroll past. This is also where you will get some food samples!
I love wood chopping. What’s wood chopping you ask? You need to see this if you have never seen it before and revisit it if you have. It’s entertaining and gives your legs a chance to have a break. The competition is made up of 65 separate events attracting around 240 local and international competitors. Incorporating World Title Events, the competition is widely recognised as the ‘Wimbledon of Woodchopping’.
Come and watch as men’s and ladies teams from the United States of America face off against the Aussies and Kiwis in the International Relay competition. Logs must be completely severed into two parts by axes or saws. The competitor that severs the log first, without breaking any of the rules, is the winner. The pace of competition can be cyclonic. When the difference between first and second place is a hair’s breadth, Judges will defer to the video ref. Source – http://www.eastershow.com.au/explore-plan/attractions/woodchopping-competition/
The Man from Snowy River experience. This is a very famous Australian poem, which has since been made into a horse demonstration/ entertainment. This is amazing. I grew up riding and I can promise you are not watching some old nags and their riders. These are the best of the best stock horses and their riders. You’ll love this show.
Sheep dog demonstration. Have you ever watched a sheep dog in action? It is remarkable how clever these faithful companions are. You will go home with every intention of teaching your dog all those tricks he can’t do, to realise they’re training starts as puppies.
The various pavilions of animals are an interesting stroll. The animal nursery is a highlight for children with animals roaming around the hall. You will spend time here looking at the chickens and the ducklings. Feeding goats and patting lambs. All the animals are very tame and used to humans.
For me the highlight is the grand parade and something you should be at the main arenas to see. Don’t rush off as this is the star of the show. All the animals in the ring at once. It’s great.
We walked 14 kilometres in our time. You will need a pram even for larger kids for those points when they just can’t go further. My kids have only just learnt about showbags. My recommendation is get and out of this hall as quickly as you can.
Dependent upon how much money you want to loose will determine how long you spend in side-show alley (or the carnival) I can personally miss the lot. Perhaps after one dodgem car ride!
If you plan your day, the best way to get there is always public transport. I used to pack food but there is now such a huge variety that I don’t think you need to do that. Kids love it. If your kids are enjoying themselves that’s half the battle right?