Not many people know this, but once upon a time (many, many moons ago) I was the 1997 Charity Queen at the show where I grew up. What this meant at the time (aside from receiving a sash and having to participate in the parade through town) was a very cool holiday prize that I was able to share with some friends at the coast.
Now all these years later, the show season means something entirely different to me.
As a teenager I always loved the EKKA for the rides and show bags. I visited the EKKA with my school and also with my family. As a bona fide ‘coastie’ I didn’t even realise that the EKKA had an animal contingent; or perhaps I did, but it held little interest for me at that time.
The Farmer and I went to the EKKA once when we were dating and he introduced me to the livestock sections, sheep and cattle dog displays and wood chop. I also paid my first visit to the Cattleman’s Bar and Jubilee Pub that evening. So did everyone else from rural Queensland as well I think; or so it seemed.
We have taken our children to the EKKA only once. It was a hazy mishmash of toddler-friendly rides, even more show bags and lots of animals. We managed not to lose any kids (WIN!) but now that the children are all a little older, there’s a good chance we will be heading back again soon.
Back at home, we have a close involvement with our local show. Some years ago, The Farmer and I got involved with the local Show Society. Somehow we snagged the Rodeo section, which was a steep learning curve but also my first foray into serious country business. I didn’t even know how to pronounce RODEO properly at that point. Later The Farmer became Vice President of the show, and then eventually President for a few years. For all of the work behind the scenes, it’s been a great way to get involved in the community.
And now the EKKA is just around the corner again. I have taken my flu injection this year and I am ready to face the crowds and cooler weather so that I might be able to enjoy a strawberry sundae, the Ferris Wheel, the sheep dog trials and the evening show in the arena.
Hopefully I see you there!