Every state in Australia celebrates their City and Country origins with a State Show each year. These shows bring the country to the city and enable suburban populations throughout the nation to experience a little of what it’s like to live in the country, and also educates the city folk on the importance of our country cousins, and how the country plays a large role in the national economy.
Here’s a quick rundown on each of the states, their shows and what you can expect.
Firstly, my home state – Queensland.
We have a show in August that we call the EKKA. (That’s short for Exhibition). It is held at the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds in Spring Hill. Its official name is the Royal Queensland Show and runs 10 days in the middle of August each year. The majority of rural property in Australia is pastoral, so there are lots of exhibitions throughout the show on how the country does its business and how it affects the city people.
Apart from the usual side show alley and rides, there’s a large program of show events, including livestock, horse riding, and horse skill competitions. The usual crafts and art shows are always well attended, and there is a “Quilts Across Queensland” which showcases the incredible quilting talent of Queenslanders.
New South Wales.
The New South Wales Show is called the Royal Easter Show and is the largest Show event in Australia. It happens over the Easter period each year and is held in Sydney, at the Sydney Showgrounds.
This event attracts nearly a million show goers each year and aims to highlight the Australian country culture through a plethora of competitions and static exhibitions. Wood Chopping and other agricultural competitions are fiercely battled over.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
The Australian Capital Territory (Canberra), is usually held in March and co-incides with the celebration of Canberra Day each year. It is referred to as the Royal Canberra Show and is held at the Exhibition Park in northern Canberra.
The Show is hosted by the Royal National Capital Agricultural Society and has developed over the years from a basic agricultural show to a more entertainment and exhibition event, where city meets country in a friendly and fun atmosphere.
Victoria hosts the Royal Melbourne Show in Melbourne each September. There are lots of interactive and fun events that run during the week show including competitions, demonstrations, interactive sports and leisure games. Of course show bags and sideshow alley are in attendance each year also.
In Tasmania in October, as the weather warms up, the Royal Hobart Show is staged at the Royal Hobart Showground. Rural Tasmania is showcased by exhibitions and competitions around best produce, best wears and services and of course best livestock and horse trials. The show is nicknamed the “People’s event” and encourages all Tasmanians to participate in this annual event.
The Royal Adelaide Show is the state show for South Australia and is held annually in September. A large proportion of South Australia is farmed and the state is known throughout the world for its wonderful wines and produce. There are competitions involving handcrafts, arts and cookery and of course champions are sashed in all breeds of domestic and farm animals.
The food halls are brimming with wonderful arrays of locally produced food and other goods.
In September each year the Perth Royal Show is held at the Claremont Showgrounds, which are about 10 minutes west of the Perth central business district.
Each year a massive fireworks display is presented, along with Car Stunt riders and other attractions. The country comes to the city in a big way each year at the Perth Royal Show, and of course the wonderful full stuffs that are locally produced in the state are on show also.
The Northern Territory
The Northern Territory holds its Royal Darwin Show in July (during their dry season). Usually held at the Darwin Showgrounds and the Exhibition Centre in Darwin.
This event is considered the premier event on the Top End annual calendar; where primary industry, horticulture and domestic crafts are put on show and prize sashes are highly sort after. The show runs for three days and is heavily attended during this time.