For Hidden Treasures on ABC Perth Saturday Breakfast, Ro and I were joined by my good mate Tom, who coincidentally is my son. Tom gave some wonderful descriptions about his favourite showbags, rides and why reggae bananas aren’t a very good prize.
Listen to our chat in the link below and read below about the things we love most about regional shows in the notes below:
Whether you follow the traditional seasons or the cultural seasons, it’s nice to know that we’re headed for some sunshine. But there is another season upon us and it’s one that should have us checking our tyre pressures, making a new roadtrip playlist and filling up the tank for a big day out or maybe even a weekend away.
This is the season for regional agricultural shows. The smell of hot donuts is in the air! It’s time for a showcation!
Could there be a better reason to go for a drive?
Could there be a better reason to visit a town you haven’t explored?
Could there be a better reason to go down the road less travelled?
Could there be a better reason to make up a new Spotify playlist that caters for all ages in the car as long as they like Lindsay Buckingham’s Holiday Road and John Denver’s Country Roads.
Have a look at the Agricultural Society website and you can search by date or town and see what’s coming up. We can’t mention every show but let’s give a shout out to a great little bunch of shows coming up that are just a couple of hours away:
- YORK 4 September
- MOORA 18 September
- TOODYAY 9 October
- KATANNING 23 October
- NARROGIN 16 OCTOBER – Best poultry shed in the southern hemisphere.
- GIDGEGANNUP 30 October – 75th Anniversary and Gordon the Show President says that all his volunteers live with the creed, “Put a country show on the city doorstep.” This year the Gidgy Show will feature a sheep dog guiding sheep through the actual show pavilions and stalls. Not a paddock, but through the actual show.
Agricultural shows are really important to country communities. It’s a time for volunteers, it’s a time to show off local art and crafts, jams and chutneys, biscuits and cakes and collections of bottles and barbed wire and for Mayors to award blue ribbons. There are deals to be made over the purchase of a new tractor and decisions to be made over which rooster has the plumiest feathers and which ram has the biggest marble bag.
There are also some other important decisions to be made and that’s why I need the help of Tom who fills me with joy and empties my wallet.
The season of agricultural shows brings together at least two of Tom’s loves …. Roadtrips and the Narrogin Show.
- There is no better indicator of character type … what showbag do you buy and when do you buy it, at the start of the show or the end?
- Showbag memories … Mills and Ware suitcase, Schweppes Bicep Challenge and the best ‘In my day’ reference you can make ….. the Bertie Beetle.
- Lost Dad Tents are proof that everyone is catered for.
- Miracle Gadgets! A new way of peeling, grating, slicing and dicing vegetables or a magic cloth that washes and dries your car all by itself!
- Enjoy the spruikers and their calls to get your participation to drop a ping pong ball down a clowns mouth. Calls like;
- “Every player wins a prize!” and “Don’t be bashful! Don’t be shy! Step on up and have a try!
- And the bumper car calls accompanied by a Bon Jovi soundtrack, “Left hand down! Left hand only!” and “One way ‘round drivers, one way only!”
Regional agricultural shows are hidden treasures because they provide the lure to get you out there. To see a town you love or have never been to. To see a community come together. To see big tractors and big sheep. To self-proclaim yourself the best bumper car driver and eat food that is good for you, as long as it’s only once a year.
For me it’s about spending time with my best mate. The Royal Show is just 20 minutes drive from my house but the Narrogin Show, The Gidgy Show and so many others, are a bit further away and that time together is real treasure.