A Grand Day Out…
In times past, the agricultural show was always tremendously important.
It showcased the region’s produce and provided a grand day out for the locals. Then the meaningful agricultural part of shows faded a little, sideshows almost took over and city entertainment became the be-all and end-all of life. If local shows didn’t die, they limped along in a poor state.
But there are some that survived. My husband’s family sustained a strong relationship with their district’s agricultural show and all members of the family were and still remain councillors. The show, only a short way from Melbourne, made the huge decision to ban sideshows and make the show as agricultural as it could be. This was years ago and Whittlesea Show became the biggest and most successful two day show in Victoria.
Since those days, we have taken up our own farm in Tasmania and today our district had its annual show, Bream Creek Show.
It’s wonderful. They too have banned sideshows and they celebrate the district’s attributes – fine food, wine, wool production, dairy food, beef production and goat production. But perhaps the biggest showcase this year was of sheer grit, because a large proportion of those running the show and selling and showing off their produce were at the front line of the January bushfires that destroyed the town of Dunalley.
But phoenixes are legend and today I bought preserved lemons and apple and mint jelly from the Dunalley Primary School stall and I sampled goat and herb sausages. I ate a grilled haloumi burger for lunch accompanied by the district’s magnificent chardonnay. I also bought coffee melting moments from another stall, along with lemon biscuits.
I watched wood-chopping; even women wood-chopping! I saw fluffy white bantams and belted galloways. Watched young Clydesdales pulling loads. Saw a bullock team waiting to do their display.
Saw giant pumpkins, and yes, they are real!
Watched a re-enactment of the Australian Light Horse Brigade instrumental in Palestine and Egypt.
I listened to Reptile Rescue educate us on snakes.
I even shot a bow which was a highlight for me being a fledgling hist.fict/hist.fantasy writer.
All in all, a grand day out!