I'm a freelance writer who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula. I enjoy finding new things to see and do in the beautiful area that I live in.
Most public holidays in Australia involve the celebration or commemoration of a particular event- on ANZAC Day we remember our fallen ANZAC soldiers, on the Queen's Birthday Public Holiday we celebrate our monarch's birth (even though it's held on an entirely different day), and on Australia Day we celebrate our nation and what makes it great. For most of these public holidays, there is a set criteria about what most people do, be it pause at 11am for a minutes silence, or wear the Australian flag and celebrate with a barbeque. One public holiday- Labour Day- has no such distinction, besides being a day when we can celebrate not having to work. This lack of distinction can sometimes cause problems for people, as they struggle to come up with a worthwhile activity to do.
Luckily, if you live on or near the Bellarine Peninsula, your boredom woes on this particular long weekend can be addressed. On Sunday 10 March, Portarlington Recreation Reserve will be hosting the 23rd Annual Bellarine Agricultural Show. In a similar vein to other country shows, the Bellarine Show features the usual array of horses, livestock and vintage machinery. Also on show will be art, craft and photography displays, horticulture and cookery exhibits, and shearing demonstrations.
Portarlington Recreation Reserve will be hosting the Bellarine Agricultural Show
There will be a variety of reptiles and marsupials to view (some of which you can get up close and personal with), model aircraft displays, and representatives from the CFA and SES. For those after a slightly different experience, you can take off on a Microlight flight (which is kind of like a motorised hang glider) or participate in a Segway ride (you may have seen these two-wheeled electric vehicles on television- they look similar to a scooter).
There will be reptiles, marsupials and a host of other animals on display on the day
While the Bellarine Agricultural Show generally does have a rustic feel, it is also extremely family friendly, with plenty of planned activities for children of all ages. Not only is there the obligatory animal nursery, where children can see and pet baby farm animals, but there are also craft activities and children's workshops.
Why not enter your pet into one of the pet competitions?
There will also be artists in residence on the day- the Beale family will be performing Australian Irish music and early Australian bush poetry to audiences, while world champion sand sculptor Dennis Massoud will be creating an enormous sand sculpture. He will then be holding sand sculpting workshops for children, and passing on tips about how to create the best sand castle on the beach. As per tradition, the Gumboot Toss will also be taking place at the Show from 11am- competitors throw their decorated gumboot as far as they possibly can in order to win a prize.
There will be freshly grown produce on display at the Show
If you love the Show experience, are happy to forgo the usual carnival rides, and would like something to do over the Labour Day long weekend, the Bellarine Agricultural Show is the place to go.