Getting into show mode
ONE of the first events I attended when I returned to the Clarence Valley 12 months ago was the Maclean Show.
I hadn't been to the Maclean showground for 20 years and it was a spur of the moment decision that took me in the gate.
I'd had a busy day at work in Grafton and I was on my way home to Yamba when I noticed the lights of the showground from the Pacific Highway.
I was still tossing up whether I should just drive home as I walked into the showground gates.
It only took a few minutes before I was praising myself for the decision ... country shows are something special.
There is always a buzz around the local shows and that buzz is especially evident at night. The flashing coloured lights, the excited tones of the showground commentator, the showies urging you to test your luck and all around you a sea of familiar faces.
Instead of the frozen dinner that was waiting for me at my Yamba unit I found a spare seat in the member's pavilion and tucked into a $10 home made roast. A tour of the exhibits followed and then a seat for the big attraction of Maclean Show, the Man from Snowy River performance.
Having prided myself on learning every verse of the classic poem as a 12-year-old, the Banjo Patterson classic always stirs me when I hear a rendition.
The small stadium at the showground was packed and no-one stirred during the performance.
As I left the show I thought about the importance of these annual showcases and the importance that we all continue to support them. Coffs Harbour didn't and last year they had no show to go to.
Next week I'll once again be going down to Maclean and then I'll back up for the Grafton Show just a few days later. The grandchildren have reminded me already that I have promised to treat them again.
It's going to be a big week.