Emphasis on rural at show
THE Grafton Showground is buzzing with the sounds and smells of rural life.
At the 144th Grafton Agricultural Show, which opened yesterday and continues today, displays of farm produce, cooking, crafts, animals and livestock are to the fore.
One of the smaller pavilions that houses the farm produce yesterday had a steady stream of traffic which made the Grafton Show deputy farm produce chief steward Ian McGaw happy.
“I think that the true meaning of the show has been overshadowed by sideshow alley,” he said.
“The agricultural show is supposed to be about taking the country to the city and showcasing what rural Australia has to offer.
“It is not supposed to be about rides,” he said.
Ian became involved in the show back in 1955 when he was a part of the Junior Farmers Show Camp.
“I am still involved because of the fellowship. I picked up my wife along the way and have made some long-time friends,” Ian said.
“I am a life member of the Royal Easter Show and was the last person to be awarded life membership while the show was still at Moore Park in Sydney,” he said.
In the farm produce pavilion, you will find more pumpkins than you can poke a stick at, some of the most beautiful rosellas in the region and a heap of weird and wonderful fruit.
A new addition this year to get the kids involved is fruit and vegetable decorating, with some very creative works of art coming out of it.
Teddy bears and crabs were made out of rockmelons, while small squash and pumpkins were turned into echidnas and people.
One of the other staples at the show is, of course, the showbags and this year is no different.
Sarah Milo, manager of the Showbag Carousel, said that this year Dora the Explorer and the Crusty Demons show bags have been very popular.
“Watching the kids faces light up when they come and have a look is priceless,” Sarah said.
“They notice the changes in the bags and it is really funny to see,” she said.
Sarah also said that the best value for money at her showbag stall is the two Cadbury bags for $10.
“We have a heap of new showbags as well.
“The Socceroos one has been pretty popular and has just come out.
“It comes with a blow-up soccer ball, so all the little boys want it,” she said.
Highlights of the show today will be the announcement of the showgirl winner, as well as action in the main arena.