Showgirl journey won me over
THE sideshow alley rides have been packed up and moved to the next town, the alpacas, cattle and horses are back in their paddocks, and the committed volunteers of the Grafton Show Society are getting some much-needed rest.
But while the Grafton Show may be over, plans are already in place for next year's event - and I'd like to encourage young women in our community to consider nominating as a 2015 Grafton Showgirl candidate.
If you're passionate about agriculture and love the region we live in, I suggest you make a note in your diary to nominate next year.
I was one of the typical last-minute entrants in this year's Showgirl and was sashed with the blue ribbon at the show on Saturday.
The past two weeks have been nothing short of incredible.
I became friends with some of the very dedicated show society members and, of course, the other two candidates - Sarah Kitcher and Chloe Thurtel.
I never really knew what was involved in the Showgirl quest, but am now so glad I put my hand up for it.
There was a dinner where we met stalwarts of the Grafton Show plus sponsors and former showgirls.
An interview night tested our local and rural knowledge, and we were asked about our plans and personal accomplishments.
Then on the Friday night of the show, we met with the Junior Showgirl winner and runner-up and were escorted through sideshow alley by a gentleman from the Showmen's Guild.
Saturday brought clear skies and happy smiles from everyone we met.
We sashed horses, cattle and even alpacas as dedicated producers showed off their livestock.
As candidates for Grafton Showgirl, we got to see a completely different side of the show.
I would love to see a larger number of candidates in next year's quest.
Every young woman with an interest in agriculture should be allowed the experiences I have had throughout the past two weeks.
So go on, get involved.