Attending the annual Pakenham Show on Saturday the 17th of March, in its present location on the corner of Railway Avenue and Racecourse Road Pakenham, should be highly considered for its jam-packed country attractions with a little city polish. No longer considered a backwater country town, Pakenham is a rapidly expanding country metropolis approximately 60 kilometres by car from Melbourne's city centre. Or perhaps a train trip would be more to your liking, with the Pakenham Racecourse ideally located across the road from the railway station, it would be a short walk around the corner to the entrance gate on Racecourse Road.
Considered the traditional "bread and butter" of any country show, there will be livestock judging competitions for beef cattle, sheep, dairy and mohair goats, dogs, chickens, ducks, and geese as well as a fleece competition.
If you are an avid horse lover like myself you will find it difficult to pull yourself away from the variety of horse and pony arenas that include all of the traditional events such as the lead, ridden and driven (harness) classes as well as the show jumping, and heavy horse competitions. There is also the latest horse sport appearing on the scene, the fast paced thrill of barrel, stake, and flag racing conducted by the Sporting Horse Australia Association.
Ever a country show stalwart, the Arts and Crafts Pavilion for adults, will be displaying and judging many varieties of breads, cakes, scones, slices, jams, wines, and home brewed beers. With 31 categories of cakes alone, and even a "blokes section" for cooking a batch of scones or a chocolate cake, the foodie in me is asking where do I sign up to be a tasting judge. The Arts and Crafts Pavilion will also host the competitions for garden and farm produce, flowers, photography, artworks, and ceramics. And not to forget the future of country shows, there will be a Children's Pavilion showcasing cooking, crafts, artworks, writing, flower arranging, and even a Lego Building competition.
Not to be outdone by their animal counterparts there will be judging of human entrants in the Rural Iron Man and Woman, Rural Ambassador, Miss and Master Tiny Tot, Miss Junior, Miss Intermediate, and Miss Teenager competitions. On a lighter note there will be a Gumboot Throwing competition and a Paper Plane competition.
As at any show or public event you can expect the usual fast food vendors, amusement rides for the kids, and stalls selling a tempting assortment of local produce and products. Ensure you wear some comfy shoes for all the walking around you will be doing looking at all the animal and pavilion exhibits.
Public entry is via the gate on Racecourse Road with an adult admission costing $15.00, children aged 11 to 16 years $5.00, children under 10 years of age are free, aged pensioners are $10 and cars are $5. Family tickets are also available. Phone the Show Secretary on 03-5940-1888 or 0408117709, or log onto the Pakenham Show website for more information.