to encourage a wider variety of writing techniques.
Links between community rural and urban lives continue to unwind with the death of agricultural shows. Insurance, maintenance and on day running costs coupled with the severe drop in competition have been major factors in the demise of our once proud heritage.
The traveling side shows were once the only access people had in thrill rides, but now with permanent theme parks being within easy access to the majority of the population even these once proud traveling families have either limited or stopped their wanderings. It has been years since I have seen the boxing tent with the banging drums and men standing high along the roof line beckoning in the local lads. Our heritage is poorer for its passing.
The rural sector has suffered through subdivision, drought flood and wild animal attacks and urbanized migration. Its therefore heartening to see one long standing agricultural show continue to open its gates in its 135th year within the Granite Belt – less than two hours drive from Brisbane.
Entries in most sections were substantially down with the lack of interest in and skill levels to maintain the once high standards in cookery, artwork , craft needlework and floral arrangements. With most entries by competitors who have been involved with the section for scores of years, it was pleasing to see some younger children turning their hand to the sections.
The saddest sight was the once heaving sheep and wool pavilion as it lay bare with lonely sheep staring forlornly over the gates at the sparse audience as they shuffled past.
In saying this however, a day for the family could easily be filled watching the skills of the sheep dog trials, the exciting camp draft competition, the fashion parade supported by local boutiques and models, the ever young dodgems, ubiquitous dagwood dogs, the showjumping, dressage, ‘you beaut ute show’, the very necessary unusual and comical vegetable display and a new section pairing fruit and vegetables with the artistic eye of school children; all this culminating in a huge display of fireworks. A special note on the display as it was the best I had seen in years. Exploding colours in the sky set to rowdy music with the backdrop of the sheepherders bar behind open till the last cocky stood; bringing back many memories of shows long past.
Support these community gatherings, not only as a link to your past; but as a show of solidarity for the rural sector. The Stanthorpe Show, like many around it has reasonably priced day entrances with adults $10 and children $6. Seek out your local show and look at it with new eyes.