Toowoomba Show to go off with a bang for grandparents
THERE'S a special lure for older residents to attend this year's Toowoomba Royal Show from March 30-April 1.
Friday, March 31, has been proclaimed Grandparents' Day, when children 12 years and under will be admitted free with their grandparents from 9am-4pm.
It's just part of the intergenerational family appeal of the show which CEO Damon Phillips wants to promote.
Each day will end with a nostalgic bang, thanks to a special fireworks display titled Great Southern Land - the Story of Us, put together by local pyrotechnician Lindsey Lack and his team.
"It's about the events of the past, the images and icons that have shaped us and got us to where we are now," Lindsey said.
While Lindsey is convinced, of course, that no-one will be able to take their eyes off his fireworks, he concedes creative directors, daughter Kate and friend Megan Wagland, have put together a spectacular blend of music and images to go along with his 16-minute display.
"There's no doubt it will be an awesome show," he said, admitting that after almost 20 years in the business, he still gets goosebumps when he sees displays go off on the night.
"There's a couple of points in this one with the images and the soundtrack that are very moving; they just blow me away," he said.
The 153rd year of the show is very much about blending old favourites with innovations.
If you had any doubt about how impressive this show is, more than 15 000 entries will be received and judged across 35 competition categories. The pavilion will house cooking, handicraft, leatherwork, drawing, mapping, handwriting, fine art, art in bark, floriculture, school gardens, photography, home grown produce, floral art, crops and bread.
More than 200 breeds of animals will be competing, with Saturday being christened Goat Saturday, due to the number of entries received. There's also Alpacas, show dogs, working and high-jumping dogs, bees, pigs, wool and meat sheep, horses, beef and dairy cattle, and poultry.
"While there is a big focus these days on sideshows and entertainment, the agricultural component is very important to us," Damon said.
"Show societies should be public relations agencies for agriculture. We are in the unique position of promoting agricultural producers to consumers.
"Nowhere else can you see that link between town and country in action and that's our theme this year, When the Country Comes to Town."
For those wanting to learn more, there's a working dairy, vintage machinery demonstrations and the edible garden project, as well as a Small Landholders' Expo. Costa Georgiadis will also be holding a number of gardening workshops.
And for those who should really know better, there's a new Dagwood Dog-eating competition daily near sideshow alley, which boasts boasts over 100 different showbags and 50 games and rides. And don't forget the woodchop.
From about 4.30pm, there's harness racing in the main arena, trick horse riding, the Lone Ranger Stunt Show, Wheel of Death and high wire motorcycling, followed by the Heroes of the Outback arena spectacular, all culminating on Saturday night with a demolition derby.
Prepaid adult tickets until March 29 are $15, concessions $10 and children 5-12 years $5.
In 1860 show bags were full of coal.
Over $120,000 in prizemoney is handed out.
It is the second-largest horse show in Australia, with over 4000 entries.
Woodchoppers chop their way through more than 35 tonnes of specially grown timber.
Over 5km of ribbons are presented.
More than 300 volunteers assist in the show.