Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fairground Attraction

One of the big events in Newcastle (NSW) is the Annual Newcastle Regional Show, an event that each year keeps on growing and gives support to the local rural industries and farmers from around the region. Also, much to the dismay of the local Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, the Friday is gazetted as a public holiday for residents within the Newcastle LGA (this was originally done so schools could organise excursions to the show and show city kids where our produce comes from). 

The show has been icon on the local calendar since 1902 (although the first  Newcastle and District Agricultural Horticultural and Industrial Association was formed in 1899) and except during 1916 (WW1, used as a Military Camp), 1919 (influenza) and 1941 - 45 (WW2 Staging Area), the show has been delighting Novacastrians with all the colour and excitement that a regional show can bring.  

This year the Newcastle Regional Show was once again a tremendous place to spend a day and enjoy the unique atmosphere. In fact I actually spent two days at the show, one day with the grand - daughter and the next with my wife (so we could visit all the boring exhibits, lol). The weather was perfect, the grounds were immaculate and the place had a real vibe, a real sense of community, something you don't seem to find in the bigger capital city Agricultural Shows.

Once again, for convenience, I armed myself with the go anywhere Sanyo 1275S camera and tried to capture some of the colour and excitement. It wasn't a hard task. In the main ring there was jousting, stunt motor bikes, the V6 Hi-Lux Heroes stunt drivers, there was cattle judging, the strength of the woodchoppers on display, the excitement of Sideshow Alley (with the spruiking call of the carnies), in the Hall of Industries there were displays of handicraft, cakes, paintings, wrestling demonstration, model train displays and of course the ubiquitous showbag concession stands, with their overpriced, tacky, tooth decay inducing offerings, which of course I had to buy! 

You could, if you so desired, have a Chinese massage or even get your future told in an area I called Shonky Alley and  this year, there was something that I had never seen before, dancing dogs, believe me a tacky, surreal, experience not to be missed! 

I really do hope that the Newcastle Regional Show continues to operate in its current format and continues to provide an important link between our rural and city communities.

See you again in 2011

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